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Several weeks ago, I mentioned the idea of adding a “Throwback Thursday”-type post as a regular feature on the blog, since Nathan’s entire preschool-hood is documented here in photos but Sarah Kate got the shaft for the first seven years. crickets chirping I scrapped that idea but I’ve been doing some more organizing of my photos this week and couldn’t resist a Throwback Thursday.

Seven years ago this summer, Sarah Kate was just a couple of months older than Nathan and we traveled from north Alabama down to the Alabama Gulf Coast beaches. It was our preferred vacation getaway, but instead of a tiny condo on the tourist strip, we rented a small duplex off the beaten path, a few blocks from the beach – partly so we could bring our new puppy, Daisy, and partly so Mr. Andi would have somewhere to park his (then very tiny) boat for fishing.

We had no idea that trip would change our lives.

Our little duplex was in a neighborhood, and we had chosen to vacation in late August after school started back. It was on the corner at the entrance to the neighborhood, and the bus stopped every morning to pick up kids for school. It reminded us that, once upon a time, we had entertained the idea of living near the coast, but we never acted on it. Mr. Andi wasn’t happy with his job, so we decided he’d give it until the end of the year then look elsewhere if things didn’t pick up (his job then was heavily tied to real estate development, which never picked up…) By February, we were visiting Mayberry, looking at houses.

But in August of 2007, we were playing on the beach.

Please, physical therapists, pay no attention to the forbidden W-sit…

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And visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo (i.e., The Little Zoo That Could from the show on Animal Planet) – yes, that is Chucky that Sarah Kate is looking down on!

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And generally sweating our hineys off in the outrageous humidity that is coastal Alabama…

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And trying our hands at a little putt-putt… I’m pretty sure this was the first time Sarah Kate ever played putt-putt; now she’s considering taking up golf when she’s a little more comfortably mobile.

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And enjoying steamed royal red shrimp at what was our favorite seafood place (which has since relocated…we never missed going there when we came down on vacation,but haven’t eaten there a single time since they moved).

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Seven years. A lifetime passed in the blink of an eye.

 

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On Sunday morning, we resolved to put Sarah Kate on her bike. Her therapists have been advocating it for a little while, but the last time we tried ended in frustration – mine and hers. I hoped things would go better this go ’round.

They did. Sort of.

It started with me taking her out, strapping her feet onto the pedals with new velcro straps, and easing her down the driveway. She wailed that it hurt her left knee – the problem leg – to bend it and I gave up in frustration, though this time I kept my harsh words to myself. I chose instead to talk to her about stretching and flexibility.

Mr. Andi, sensing fear and a lack of motivation to be the primary factors in Sarah Kate’s pedaling failure, declared an end to screen time until she made an attempt to ride her bike. She went inside, weepy but motivated, and stretched.

A short time later they both returned to the driveway.

I stayed back where I could see, but not really hear, what was happening. She made it down the driveway, and I overheard Mr. Andi pointing out to her that she had used her left leg to push the pedal. He suggested that she try to make it to the driveway of the house next door, then turn around and come back.

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She made the turn onto the sidewalk, and stopped. She pushed her right leg down, but as soon as she felt the bend in her left knee, her left leg tensed up and stopped her forward motion. The cycle repeated itself several times until Mr Andi decided to give her a little pep talk.

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I snuck up behind her with my telephoto lens, thinking that Daddy would have the magic bullet that would get her there, and that’s when I saw it: the quivering lip. I turned and headed back inside.

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A few minutes later, Mr. Andi came inside where I was working on the computer, and said, ““We need to let this go and have her work with the therapist instead. She just isn’t going to be able to do it for us.”  I knew he was right.

Freedom is still a little ways away…

 

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Sun-Beams: July 20, 2014

July 20, 2014

Sun-Beams is a collection of links to stories, articles, photos, or videos I have come across that I believe will inspire, inform, or encourage you, as well as my favorite photo posted on my other blog, Violet Film, from the past week. The interior strength of a painter with cerebral palsy - Her art is stronger […]

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Seven Snippets: The #PopeCup, The ESPYs, and Recommend a Book for Me

July 18, 2014

— 1 — I’m a few days late, but the #PopeCup memes are still funny, right? This one was my fave:   — 2 — I need a book recommendation. I haven’t been too enthused about anything I’ve read lately, with a few exceptions: the Hunger Games Trilogy (that I finished over a year ago), […]

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A Challenge For You, From Sarah Kate

July 17, 2014

We learned about the Miracle Marathon this week, and I have to tell you: we’re pumped. When I was first contacted by Children’s of Alabama about the event, I thought, “Hey, why not? I like to run, some of my readers are runners, and both of the kids have been treated at Children’s of Alabama. […]

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Midsummer Miscellany

July 15, 2014

Summer is over half gone. For us, at least, because the kids get out of school in May and start back in mid-August, which actually makes us past the halfway point, though we’re less than a third of the way into what’s consider summer by the weatherman. Normally I’d save my “odds and ends” for […]

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Sun-Beams: July 13, 2014

July 13, 2014

Sun-Beams is a collection of links to stories, articles, photos, or videos I have come across that I believe will inspire, inform, or encourage you, as well as my favorite photo posted on my other blog, Violet Film, from the past week. No, You Don’t Have to Disinherit a Child With Special Needs - There isn’t a […]

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Seven Snippets: Frozen Parodies, Bloody Noses, and Dr. Sheldon Cooper

July 11, 2014

— 1 — Do you wanna have some broccoli? It doesn’t matter. You want to watch this video about it, at a minimum. The Christmas Jammies people have struck again, and they may tempt you to co-opt some other Frozen favorites. — 2 — So I finally read Pride and Prejudice… I liked it, but I […]

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On Clouds and Sunshine

July 10, 2014

It probably comes as no great shock to hear that I have struggled with the blog this summer. What you may not know is why. It’s not a lack of time or a shortage of topics that plagues me, but a fear of ripping off my emotional Band-Aids and letting the wounds ooze out onto […]

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Let’s Talk About Therapy. And Spiders. And Russian Astronauts.

July 8, 2014

Spider cage. Thera-Suit. Adeli Suit. UEU. Familiar terms to us, but probably not so much to most people, so how about a quick primer today? Sarah Kate began an “intensive burst” of therapy on Monday – four hours per day for five days. In the past, she’s done several full courses of intensive therapy: four […]

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