Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roman's new crutches!

By now most of you have seen our cool new video. I'm sharing it again here, just in case there are a few who have not.
But I thought I would also take this time to share a few thoughts, as raw as they are, I need to get them off my chest.

Roman has only just started to become interested in his crutches. We always take them with us to PT. He usually prefers to use his wheelchair or just crawl. His PT Lori and I took a "when you're ready" approach to the crutches. We didn't push them. We'd ask about them, talk about them and sometimes he'd try them.
When Lori and Roman worked with his crutches it was always her doing most of the work. She would stand behind Rome and hover atop him. She would place her hands on top of his and most of the time she would support his body with her knees.
It was exciting to see Roman using his crutches, even though I knew he wasn't really doing much of the work.

I shamefully admit that I thought the crutches were just too much for him. "It's not enough support" I would confess to Jason over and over. But he told me to just keep trying them and that he'll get stronger. Looking back, I know I gave up the crutches too soon. But it was so incredibly painful to see Roman struggle with something. Seeing that pain made the idea of mediocrity sound...not so bad.

When the day came that Roman grabbed his crutches and said he wanted to use them, we delighted! We put his braces on and even though we were doing most of the work, he was finally getting excited about them. After a measly week of this, he did it. He walked with his crutches-with NO support. I trailed behind him, wide eyed and open mouthed and watched as my son, for the first time walked using his crutches.

When the day for PT came I was SO excited. I couldn't wait to show off Roman and his new skills. I couldn't wait to beam with pride as if I had believed it the entire time.
When Lori saw him she was just as shocked as me. She beamed, too. But she had reason to. Lori would never doubt Roman. I'm still kicking myself.

We meant to just show her that he could do it, but then he headed for the door, and then down the hall, and then down another hall. We took a small break at the water fountain and Roman made it to his destination-THE PLAYGROUND!
Lori and Roman "played" for almost our entire hour long appointment, and I'll never forget what she said to me. "My God Erica, he's going to walk into kindergarten!"

I won't lie, I started to cry. I've never thought it was a possibility before. I never believed my child would walk independently. I know, it sounds harsh and I know it sounds MEAN, but you HAVE to know that his entire life I've shrugged the idea off, so as not to hurt myself and not to make him think it was majorly important to me.
Of course it means the world to me, of course I think about it every second of my life. But I didn't want HIM to know that. 
When Lori proclaimed this I believed it. I believed it for the first time, and it blew me away.
I shared her words with as many people as I could that day, and each time I said it, I cried.
Roman continues to love his crutches. He continues to do super well and walk a little bit farther everyday.

I can't believe I ever doubted my little miracle man. I must be some level of crazy to think that he wouldn't take my expectations and blow them out of the water.

Roman, you have worked your cute, dimpled hiney off. I am so proud of you and I am, as always, in total awe of your strength.

Here is my little rockstar, but I should also mention because a lot of people have inquired about Izzy in this video, she's not jealous. Actually quite opposite of that. She wanted to be Roman's "spotter" and walk next to him in case he fell. The thing is, as much as she tries, when she "helps" it just ends in a giant kiddie doggie pile with crutches hurting somebody. So if you look closely, Jason not once but TWICE stops her from being the "spotter". She's VERY angry with Jason in this video, not at all upset with Roman. And you'll hear her happy as can be at the end. :)

Now, please excuse my raspy, screechy, whispery voice. It's been really weird for a few weeks. Focus on the boy, darn you!


  1. Such a GREAT video! Congratulations Roman - you rock! I pray everyday that I will someday see Annabelle walking with crutches. What an inspiration your sweet boy is.


  2. I love you guys!! I am so proud of all of you, especially Roman! Good job, buddy!

  3. That smile says it all!
    Way to go, big boy!!

  4. Have to say, I bawled as I read your post, even though I knew exactly what it was about, having seen the video previously. You do have a rockstar, Erica, and you, yourself are a rockstar as well. Thank you so much for all your inspiring words, and posts. :*)