STILL STANDING

His school have been using it for a little while now.

There’s talk of us getting our own one soon, but for now we have the use of the schools one over the Summer break.

It’s an odd shape.

It can’t be folded nor hidden out of the way.

It is the latest in a long line of equipment to make it’s way into our home.

It isn’t the first piece of equipment and it won’t be the last,there’s talk and plans of a hoist track being fitted for when we eventually secure funding for an extension for our son.

It is an odd feeling using equipment to help my son do the things he used to do so easily.

It’s also amazing that there is such equipment to help my son do the things he can no longer do. It’s bittersweet, while I’m so thankful that there is such equipment it still sucks that my son needs it.

They taught me how to use it. I even took pictures, so I’d be able to check I had it done right, when it came to me doing it alone.

Yes, I’m that kind of mammy – if I’m going to have to use such equipment I want to make sure I use it correctly.

Ans so, yesterday for the first time ever, I placed my son into a Stander.

Something dawned on me as we went through this process of using his stander.

My son trusts me. He trusts me more than I trust myself.

He is familiar with it, which tells me the school team has done a lot of work with him.

He watched as I wheeled it towards him.

He sat straighter in his chair.

He popped out one foot then the other.

I was nervous because I’d never used this before and I worried I would forget a key part in the set up.

He’s wasn’t bothered.

He trusts me 100 percent. Sometimes, I marvel at the level of trust he has in my abilities like when I carry him down the stairs – I am so careful,so focused,so afraid I’ll miss a step, but him?

He’s smiling up at me, whistling away nestling into my chest.

He trusts me.

He trusts me despite my shaky hand when I’ve to clean,turn and push his peg in and out of the hole in his belly. Sometimes he watches as I do it other times he watches the TV knowing he doesn’t have to keep an eye on me.

He trusts that I won’t hurt him.

He trusts me despite my disastrous control over his electric wheelchair; he sings and whistles oblivious to the toes I’ve just wheeled over.

I don’t have that kind of trust in anyone,yet he places that trust in a lot of people in his life,not just me.

I strapped his feet in.

It took  two of us to get him in a standing position.

I placed his feet into the footrest of the stander. He laughed.

He stretched his arms out for myself and his brother to help him stand.

He trusted that neither of us would let anything happen to him; while I on the other hand had the instructions on my phone which my youngest son was holding up for me to follow.

Teamwork, eh?!

We stood Ethan up and quickly I strapped him in.

It took less than two minutes. He stood tall, arms outstretched while we played ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’ theme tune as loud as the television would allow.

He used to love standing in front of the TV dancing and singing to his favourite shows, especially Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

The three of us stood back and watched Ethan waving his arms around like a conductor of a band that only he could see.

It was magical.

And suddenly it didn’t matter that my son needed equipment to help him stand; my son was standing by himself for the first time in a year.

This was originally published on Firefly

Author

geraldinesmyth@gmail.com

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