a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Appreciating Movement

Oia's little buddy Sawyer, along with his parents, came to spend the past weekend with us. His mommy and I used to teach together and in many ways have grown a lot alike (or so I've been told!). We were expecting at the same time and delivered these little angels just 3 weeks apart. It's been a blessing to have a friend like this in my life as well as for Oia to have Sawyer to play with, learn from, and grow up with...a life-long friend.

During our visits together, I find myself in absolute awe over what a flexible, stable, typically developing 2 1/2 year old can really do. I look at kids around Oia's age while out at the grocery, the mall, doctors visits, etc. and I always find myself staring and mesmerized. Mesmerized by their instinctive natures. Mesmerized by the ability to delicately pick up a bite-sized snack with just a finger and a thumb. I watch Sawyer sit so naturally on our living room floor in criss-cross style, alternating legs and rapidly changing positions, and I'm muted by the marvels of nature. I watch the controlled way he moves his lips when he speaks. The way his lips press firmly together to form a dimple fascinate me. And when he's really serious, both lips tighten and pucker together with just enough space left between them to allow a sequence of words flow almost effortlessly out of his little mouth. I notice his eyes open wide and functioning as a pair. I watch as he hoists himself up onto a bed in what appears to be one swift motion. Then jump up and down. I smile and enjoy observing. So completely in awe of his every move, and other children's moves, every single time I witness them.

It is Oia who has given me this sense of wonderment and appreciation for movement. It's been one of the greatest gifts Oia has given me as her mother thusfar. Another unexpected gift, but one of the greatest gifts for sure. She is why I marvel at the gait of any 2, 3, 5, and 10 year old child each time I stop to analyze it. The ability to move in any way, shape, or form is amazing in and of itself but having the natural, organic ability to move is something I haven't yet found the words to describe. But any movement at all; great or small, slow or fast, labored or not, is truly a blessing. I have learned to not take movement for granted; whether it be the turn of one's head, the flick of a finger, or step after slow step. Regardless of ability, how very fortunate we all are to just move.


  1. It is incredible isn't it? Definitly not something that you would have looked at or thought about before Oia.

  2. Mo I am the same way! I watch kids so closely, "normal or not" at how their bodies move. I am naive about how kids should move, I guess. It is crazy....I always marvel at my three yr. old nephew at how he can balance on one foot or do a summersault. It is so foreign to me...