Here's a video of Madison walking across the grass in our yard. She is now walking on gravel and grass, and seems to enjoy the challenge! Taking her camping really helped with that. She walked all over our campsite (and fell a lot). She isn't as afraid of falling now though. haha! She has also started walking around the house without her braces on. I'm so impressed with this little smile-maker. :)
Another mom posted today that she hopes she never tires of watching her little miracle walk. I know I never will. She's a reminder every day of the grace of God in our lives...
Here is Madison walking around our flower bed last Thursday. May 19th. She is now 28 months old. Since then she has been walking around the house almost exclusively, although she is crawling or using her walker outside on uneven ground. I took this video with my phone so it is a bit fuzzy.
I just love the sound of her little feet walking around the house! Her shoes squeak a little, and I can hear her making her way through the kitchen, down the hall, etc. She is so proud of this new skill! She just walks back and forth all day long. :)
So yesterday, Madison decided she can walk around the house without my finger! Yay!! She's 28 months now, and it's been such slow progress! When you are used to a milestone being reached and passed within a few days with typical kids, it can be very frustrating to wait 6 months from first steps to actual independent walking. But what a blessing it is to see. :)
Today was our first baseball game(s) of the season. I so much appreciated the glimpse of warmth and sunshine that accompanied them. Ethan and Seth were at separate fields, so I took Abigail and Madison with me to Ethan's, and my parents took Seth and Hannah to his. This year is different. I don't have to push a stroller full of toddlers to the field, and although Abigail is still pushing her boundaries, we got over the first clash of wills with her, and I was able to actually *watch the game!
Another difference.... Madison is older, and not quite walking. I almost brought her walker with us, but left it because she generally abandons it anyway, and it's just another item to carry around for me. But tonight I think she noticed that she is different. She was playing with Abby and a group of other girls, all around ages 3-4. Older than Maddie, but the same ages as her siblings, so she thinks she should fit right in. But she couldn't keep up with them, and although she played fine throughout the game, she wanted to have me walk her around instead of crawl. Should have brought the walker. She is so close to independent walking, but on dirt and grass, she isn't close.
When we got home, she walked across the kitchen without being coaxed! I was shocked! She walks a little here and there, along side the couch, or when someone is working with her. But this is a first! I'm so happy for her, yet a bit sad that she may have felt left out at the ball field. I'm sure it's the first of many instances like this that she will face in her life. I love that she is feeling more motivated to walk.
But with every mile stone reached, I feel a little sadness for how hard it is for her. I know other parents with challenged kids can understand....
So another Spring is around the corner, and I can't believe how fast the last few years have gone. The last 4 years have really been a whirlwind, since having 3 little girls in 3 years has kept me very busy. Not only busy, but really feeling most of the time like I'm running to catch up, and not accomplishing most of what seems important. I keep looking forward to the day when I'm leading and directing instead of feeling like I'm just barely keeping up. It has been an emotional roller coaster since Madison was born, and I've gone from feeling like I *can do it, to feeling like I'm a complete failure.
The training and loving of toddlers is a tasking adventure, even when you have one. I've had three, (this time around with toddlers) and it seems to take forever to move from toddler to preschooler. Hannah is finally becoming the sweet and (sometimes) obedient little girl I've been praying she would be. Abigail is clinging to toddlerhood in some areas, but also blossoming into a sweet and loving little girl. Madison is a whole new world for me, and I think I've mentally kept her a baby. She is so smart though, and wanting to do everything her sisters are doing. She loves to color and draw with them, and follows them around and joins in their play.
Seth and Ethan are fast approaching little men. I worry about Seth sometimes, as he is such a young "man" most of the time. But, he loves to play with his siblings and isn't afraid to love and kiss on them. He wants me to adopt more children. We need a girl (he says) in between Ethan and Hannah to help play with the girls. (not happening that *I know of) Ethan is content to play either toddler games, or hang with his brother playing board games or whatever.
Having a large family has so many dynamics. I never considered how many directions your children can go at once. How do I pull it all together in a cohesive manner? Most days I don't. There are times when everyone is needing me at once, and times when they are all building forts or playing with Legos together. Times when Seth is picking on some younger sibling or other, and all the kids are screaming. (sometimes in joy, sometimes in anger)
At times I do get a glimpse of what life will be like in a little more time. A little more organized, a little less pressured.
I have hope, and faith that that growing up in this family will be a blessing. :)
I'm married to Tim, the most wonderful husband and father I could hope for. We have 7 children. Kirsten, Linda, Seth, Ethan, Hannah, Abigail, and little Madison Hope, who was born with spina bifida. As a family, we strive to serve the Lord, and be used of Him as He would like. I pray the Lord shows His strength through our weakness.