Monday, February 7, 2011

Walker-Free Wednesday

It started with "Walker-Free Wednesday." Then, "Crunch-Only Thursday." And, "Where's My Walker Friday."

Eventually, she had transitioned to using only her crutches. Sure, she walks slow. She needs to be reminded to line her feet up. She falls more. And she's not as confident. But she's getting there. I don't even take the walker into preschool or daycare anymore. I leave it in the truck in case the teachers want it, but she goes with just her forearm crutches these days.

It's a big deal.

Until it isn't.

Today, as I walked into the daycare classroom just before lunch to help her with her catheter, I noticed that she was a little weepy. The teacher explained that she had a rough morning. She seemed tired and unwilling to share. Which was drama. And then, coming back from the muscle room, she fell. She was turning in her crutches and she fell.

Yes, she was physically hurt.

But when I asked her where it hurt the most, she pointed to her chest. That spot where we put our hands when we pledge allegiance. The spot where she places her hand when she gasps at a particularly sparkly something-or-other.

Over her heart.

I felt the lump in my throat. Because I knew what was coming next.

"So, your feelings were hurt?"

"Yes," she replied. "My friends laughed at me."

I didn't say anything. I couldn't think of anything to say. As she whimpered at the memory of it, I fought the tears of the future of it. We went about the business of cathing.

"Esther-Faith," I started. "How do you feel when your friends laugh at you when you're being silly?"

"I feel silly," she replied.

"Do you think your friends thought you were being silly?"

"Maybe," she answered. "But I was hurt. And the laughing hurt my heart more."

We finished. Washed our hands. Had a nice long hug. And went back into the classroom. We weren't there a full minute before two more "friends" started badgering her about wearing a pull-up.

"Why do you still wear a pull-up, Esther-Faith," one of them questioned.

"Yeah. I don't have to wear a pull-up anymore," the other echoed.

She looked at me. Her eyes begging me to take her out of the classroom. I knelt down in front of her. She leaned her head on my shoulder, and I whispered. "What do you want to tell your friends?" She shrugged. I held her delicate face in my hands and forced her to make eye contact. "Esther-Faith," I said. "You can tell your friends that you will wear a pull-up until your body is ready to not need it anymore." She stared into my eyes. "And that's ok, sweet girl." She wrapped her arms around my neck, buried her face in my hair, and slowly sighed.

It does not get easier.

For all the things she does that make me proud, I am sad that I can't protect her from the things that hurt. Hurting and healing make us all stronger. But these hurts... these pains... the aches in my soul for the things that I would change for my daughter if I could...


She wasn't "supposed" to walk at all. And she's on the brink of walking with just one crutch.


She was "supposed" to be "significantly developmentally delayed." But she did almost a dozen pages of self-assigned homework this evening. And she's on the brink of reading.


She wasn't "supposed" to be here at all. But she brings out the best in all of us. Her brothers. Her dad. Me. She is our glue.

She is amazing.

On "Walker-Free Wednesday" and ALL the other days.

She is amazing.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because 
I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:12-16


Joni Llanora said...

Hi, this post made me cry. I can relate very well as my daughter is going through the same issues since she begun school. Thanks for sharing & making me feel I am not alone :)

Leigh and Andy said...

Oh Karin,
Ester Faith is so Amazing and is such an inspiration to us all. We had our local SB moms group last night and we were talking about what a rockstar she is with helping with cathing (I remember a post about it a few months(?) ago) I so wish that she didn't have to go through that yesterday...or any day. I pray everyday for the hearts of all of our kids, that they will be tough yet soft. thanks for reminding me to pray for the hearts of their classmates as well.

Cassie said...

Oh how my heart aches reading this. Something similar happened to Caleb a couple of weeks ago. He's been using his walker in P.E. (so excited about this) and he did 3 laps with his walker and then his legs got tired and he fell. He told me another boy laughed at him. My first thought was that I needed to know this boys name! But then I thought that the boy and kids in general laugh when people fall. He probably laughed because Caleb fell not because Caleb was using a walker. Caleb laughs when people fall, he loves watching AFV for that very reason. But of course no child likes to be laughed at and I do think it bothered Caleb. And I was happy to know that the boy got in trouble for laughing at Caleb. As parents we just want to protect our kids from all pain and all hurt feelings but we can't. I'm sorry Esther-Faith went through that yesterday. She is such a beautiful girl. I just love her. What do you think about an arranged marriage between Esther-Faith and Caleb? :)

Joanna said...

Oh wow - I wasn't feeling particularly tearful this morning but that just did me in. What a beautifully honest and open post about something so many have or will face. My heart broke a little at how she looked up at you - I can almost see my sweet Jet doing that one day and it just tears me up. But knowing how it can be approached - reading about these children who are so bravely dealing with these situations and how their parents are so gracefully guiding them along the way is truly inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your lives - and your sweet Esther-Faith - with all of us. :)

Selina said...

Oh Gosh...This one hurts. Alot. I'm in tears right now, wondering how I will one day answer the same questions. Part of me wants her to be tough enough to not let those things bother her, and the other part is thinking homeschooling looks better every day. I know I can't protect Maddie from everything and everyone, but I pray I have the strength and wisdom to answer those tough questions, and to help her her see how amazing she really is.

Lisa @ Heaven Sent said...

Oh, this a hard one. My heart aches for you and for your sweet little lady. I truly hope writing this brought you a little healing.

I admit, it's the day we all fear, yet you both seemed to handle it with such grace. I am hugging you hard right now, Mama. I think you and your rock star are BOTH amazing. And wonderfully made!!!!!

And, Leigh, I too will start praying for the hearts of our children's classmates. Thank you for the reminder!

Colleen said...

I'm crying too--tears of sadness but also of joy at how AMAZING she is.

Jill said...


Stephanie said...

oh... I just searched the house and EVERY box of Kleenex was empty or missing! This one hurt my heart because I know we will have the same scenario to handle one day. Thanks for posting this, it was beautifully written. And your Esther-Faith is a doll!