I think she enjoyed the extra bits of freedom.
And she gave me lots of opportunities to snap some photos.
Esther-Faith LOVES the polar bears.
One of them is named Aurora.
We watched one catch a fish and eat it.
For a while, we were the only ones watching the penguins.
She walked back and forth holding onto the glass.
This penguin followed her every move.
Watching the new, baby manatee.
Esther-Faith was SO excited that the turtle touched the "grownup."
The carousel conductor took this photo.
He was super nice.
While seeing and watching the baby gorilla
cemented her decision to become a "doctor for animals,"
She was much less sure about this guy.
In fact, she wheeled away from him, and turned her chair.
He mimicked her by turning his back.
They watched each other out of the corners of their eyes.
She inched closer.
He turned a little.
She leaned in close to the glass.
He turned and made this pose, staring right at her!
Always a favorite: The flamingos.
Cause they're pink.
Cause they're pink.
All in all, it was a great trip to the zoo. VERY hot. EXTREMELY humid. But fun.
Lately, Esther-Faith has been somewhat resistant to continuing to learn the crutches. As we walked around the zoo, there were lots of opportunities for me to gently emphasize that crutches sure would be nice. She is persistent--she kept reminding me that a walker would be useful, too.
We've also been working on independent wheelchair use instead of us pushing her all the time. Instead of being behind her, I can walk beside her--holding her hand--while she navigates her chair with the other. She is still learning that in order for us to keep up with her at the pace she wants to go, we've got to jog. And she's still learning to ALWAYS make sure she can see one of her grownups. But, we keep practicing. Giving her opportunities to gain some independence within some very clear boundaries. But she is persistent. And VERY fast.
When we got home from the zoo, she ate a big lunch and took a LONG, peaceful nap. We're going to keep practicing. The wheeling and the walking. The holding on and the letting go. Eventually, she'll spread her wings and soar.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:29, 31 (NLT)