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

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Same Beach, Different Year

We live in a lake community and for the most part, we enjoy the perks of having a lake nearby; the beaches, the sand, fishing, and the freedom to escape and relax in the sun for a while. However, in past summers, the beach has been a very difficult place for Oia. She wanted very badly to be on her feet and walking. Walking without AFO's, in bare feet, in lumpy sand, on a sloped shoreline made for quite a challenge, even while holding our hands. Throw in a little wind and knee deep water and mobility was nearly impossible then. She just didn't have the balance or strength to remain upright. An outing to the beach was physically demanding for the adult in charge as one would have to hunch over, hold Oia upright, under her arms, so that she could step and play in the water as she wanted.

That got really old, really quick. Let's be honest (as selfish as it may sound), mommy and daddy want to enjoy the beach too. Hence, last year's new boat.

This year, however, things are definitely different. She tolerates the sand just a teeny bit more and is willing to play in it some. She is able to walk without her AFO now, in bare feet, even on sand. She can walk straight into the lake for a couple of steps before the water gets too high and then waves and buoyancy wins over balance. Walking straight out is doable too. Walking along the slope of the beach is still something that requires a great deal of our assistance. Nonetheless, huge improvements. Huge.

We spent some time last weekend at our main beach. Due to the crowd, I was only able to video a small clip of Oia walking to the water; no videos of her walking in or out of the water. Distance to the lake was roughly 50 ft or so. She was bare foot which means she walked high on her toes. She lost her footing at the waters edge but Rob saved her from a fall since she reached for his hand just seconds before.

So, how do we measure progress in our house? It's definitely by moments like this...remembering what it was like last year and celebrating what it's like this year.

Pictures of Oia and video taken on Memorial Day.


  1. Awwww Mo, She is so sweet! That little thing toddling around in her bathing suit! Darling! She does so well with all those obstacles! Beaches are a sore spot with us too, even though they are my fav. place in the world!

  2. This is just freakin' awesome! I love videos and posts like this! This is EXACTLY how we measure progress too. It's all about how they interact with the world and we just want them to be able to experience the world too.

    Luckily Ben LOVES the beach and sand. He can't walk but he's perfectly happy to sit and crawl in the sand.

    Way to go Oia!!!!

  3. How awesome! We are so proud of her! We love cousin Oia!!!!!

  4. Love it! Read my post from last week called "spiral dance"...I describe EXACTLY what you are talking about! Congrats!

  5. Still have to catch up on everything, but I LOVE this post! We've been celebrating alot already this year the things that are different from last year. Things that I thought would be a major struggle.

    GO OIA!!