Do we really believe in our children the way we say we do? Or do our actions really prove that belief?
Isnt it always true, what our mommies, daddies, aunts, uncles, grandparents, sunday school teachers..pretty much anyone and everyone.
Our ACTIONS speak louder than words!!
At the age of 3 Toby was barely walking. He would take some steps with his walker here and there, but still loved crawling and I sure didnt mind him being happy. If anyone had asked me I would have said, my child will walk someday, my child has the strength to walk, I believe in his ability. The key word for me was...Someday. (spina bifida is always a waiting game anyway right?)
I would take his walker with us to the store, but then leave it in the car for the rest of the afternoon. I would work with him one evening diligently but then the next three never even ask him to take a step. At the age of three Toby was not walking and even though I believed, I had faith, I knew oneday...My ACTIONS were speaking much louder than my words.
I enabled Toby from the age of 2 - 3 to be free to crawl around, free to play how he wanted to, free to just be a kid. (which granted are all great things) But at the same time I rarely pushed him to push harder to work more to grow stronger. With my actions I was teaching him how little my faith was, how small my belief was and really how unimportant it really was.
Now, honestly, this is a bummer post to write. Id like to consider myself The mom who works her butt off, the mom who tries it all, fights for her child and never gives up. But from age 2 to 3. I had given up. I hadnt really fought. We had a therapist I was comfortable with. She wasnt really pushing Toby, but I was comfortable with her. She didnt push me to do much more either. I was content with my little faith and my small belief.
Then Toby turned 3. He got to old for his current therapy program and we got Todd (a new therapist) And then I had the meeting with our Ortho. He said, "If he doesnt walk soon. He wont walk." Catch that. My little belief of someday was getting challenged and smacked down. "If he doesn't walk soon. He wont walk." Thats when the rubber met the road. Todd showed me that therapy doesnt just happen at the office. I cant pretend to be the mommy who pushes her child and believes in all the incredible things he can do. I cant just talk the talk. I have to walk the walk..not even just walk but RUN!I had to drag that walker everywhere. I had to make a 2 minute walk in a parking lot a 10 minute walk. I had to look the other way when Toby wanted my help. I had to show Toby my belief. I had to show him my faith. The way I did that was by pushing. I had to hear him cry about his walker. I had to watch him struggle to get used to playing without crawling around. You know though, everytime it worked, my faith grew. My small belief began to grow and it gave me true strong belief. It was hard to sit back and realize how much I enabled his dependence on me. How I enabled him to crawl up until the age of 3. Its hard to sit here and admit that to all of you, but its true.
I share this with you as an encouragement..hopefully. Are you the mommy pushing the toy closer to your child? Are you the mommy holding the bottle or sippy cup still? Are you the mommy keeping the walker in the side room or not wanting to strap those stinkin braces on one more time? Is it hard? absolutely!!! Does it hurt? 100%!! Is it totally and completely worth it to show your child how much you believe in him/her? I have absolutely no doubt.
Now dont get me wrong. There are times and places and days for all of these pushes. Toby knows how to unbuckle his seat belt, but somedays I still do it for him, just cause I'm his mommy and I can. Not every moment is a pushing moment.
But maybe just maybe..next time when you are tempted to leave that walker put or take your big toe and push the toy a little closer...Maybe you'll think twice. Because I dont know about you..I want to ALWAYS show Toby how BIG my faith is and huge my belief is!!