My Little Graduate

These days it seems like there are graduations for everything. I see photos of a lot more graduation ceremonies for my friends’ kids on social media, and they look adorable in their little caps and gowns. While we haven’t had any graduation ceremonies in our little family, I do feel like both of my kids have graduated from a lot of classes in the school of life. In Elvie’s first year with us, in fact, she graduated out of the hospital several times, graduated from the high caloric formula class into normal formula, and then later into the solid food class. If I had a little cap and gown, I’d probably bust it out every time she accomplished something new and noteworthy. Recently she graduated from something that was such a big deal that I probably would have printed a little diploma, too, if we’d found the time to have an official graduation ceremony.

One week ago, we attended Elvie’s last physical therapy session. While she will need more after her next surgery in order to aid in recovery, she is now doing so well with her motor skills that we only need to work on them at home. She has graduated out of physical therapy. We are so proud.

When we first began physical therapy after Elvie’s surgery, she could pull herself around in a scoot crawl, but we needed to work on the flexibility of her right knee, her muscle tone in her right leg, her trunk stability, and her gait so that walking would be possible. As of our last visit, the physical therapist noted that she has all the ingredients to succeed at walking and just needs more practice to get going, just like any other toddler who is learning to walk. She no longer needs professional interventions to prepare her. She just needs to do it, and that part is up to her.

She can stand now without assistance and walk while holding just one hand for support. Her right leg is strong, her feet can move forward in a somewhat typical gait pattern, and it is clear that she is moving ever closer to taking off at a run. One of these days she will take a step, and then another step, and then soon enough we will announce another graduation: from crawling to walking. I can’t wait for that. For now, though, I am so proud of my little physical therapy graduate. She has done amazing things to come to this point. Happy graduation, Elvie.

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