Tgirl started soccer again this past Sunday. She plays through Abilitations, a company started by her former Physical Therapist, Miss T.R. as we call her. She played a year or so ago, in their inaugural season. They we took a break, but we thought it would be good for her to play again. (Can I just take a minute to say - there are some awesome activities for special kids these days. Tgirl can play soccer, baseball, swim, you name it. As hard as this is, raising a child like her, I am thankful that we have her in a time when there are so many doors open for her.)
TR has know Tgirl since before she was 18 months old, when she first started therapy sessions. PT was her first, then Speech, then OT (occupational therapy). I say Miss TR taught her to walk, my husband says it was his constant walking around the house holding her fingers. It was probably a mix. I know I said the other day that the happy, cute events you think you will remember for ever fade from memory, but the horrible things stay forever. But then when I started thinking about how long we have know Miss TR, I realized that one of the happiest days of our lives with Tgirl, is etched crystal clear in my mind. The day she took her first steps. She was 22 months old.
It had been a difficult time trying to get Tgirl to walk. I think at 12 months, she wasn't even really sitting up. Most days in therapy she would just work on standing up and balancing. I remember her learning to "cruise" holding on to a bench, and then twist her torso to transition to another bench. Week after week. Then she could walk behind a push toy. But still, no independent steps no matter what we did. Then, finally, one February day, it happened. Tgirl was wearing black knit pants - like leggings, but looser. She had a on a pink and white and sparkly silver striped turtleneck shirt. Her pant legs were rolled up almost to her knees so that we could see her feet and so she was in no danger of getting tangled up in her pant legs. Tgirl stood in the middle of the room, arms bent at the elbows, her hands near her shoulders, pointing out - like bird wings - for balance. I stood behind her a few steps and Miss TR stood a few steps in front of her with the bubbles. Then, Miss TR blew some bubbles and Tgirl leaned towards them and then WALKED to those bubbles. Three, maybe four steps, but steps all the same. "OH MY GOD!!! SHE WALKED!!! SHE WALKED!!!!! GO TGIRL!!!!" We screamed and clapped, I think I shed a tear or two. Miss TR says she has seen so many first steps, and it never ever gets old. I believe her.
Now, she plays soccer, running around the field.
And is happy after scoring a goal.
You know what is great about special needs soccer - you can even play with your hands if you want - it's all good for Tgirl.
So, here's to soccer, and here's to Miss TR, and here's to first steps, whenever they are taken.