Friday, 19 October 2012

small update, big news - Friday 19th October

As any parent will attest, your kids somehow grow up without you noticing. Sam is now a cheeky little kid who, this morning, served himself a bowl of breakfast, Maya stands shoulder height to Loup and is growing up faster and faster, Ev used "exponentially" in a sentence the other day (correctly, as well).

In terms of Ev's post-SDR development that sneaks up as well. So many milestones in such a short time - when we walked out of the airport at Manchester hand in hand, when he stood independently, took a couple of steps, when he walked to school, collected the flame and just the other day did that walk across the house which seemed so far away even just a couple of weeks ago :

Other people can often be the ones to best recognise how grown up your little girl is, how mature your baby boy now seems or even how tall they now seem - and with Ev, of course, we know how well he is doing but sometimes things still crop up.

After a pretty amazing couple of months, where we thought that things might inevitably have to return back to normal, I think it's fair to say we were probably wrong..... On the way back from York, after delivering the flame, we had a call from a journalist who mentioned that someone would be in touch about something that could include Evan.

Anyway, long story short, we heard a couple of days ago that Ev has been shortlisted for "Young Person of the Year" at the "Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards"Click here to see about the awards.

We are so proud for Evan to be considered and, whether he wins or not, it's another sign of how much he has achieved in the last couple of years. It's also recognition for everyone that's been involved (which I guess includes us but equally includes you - however you might have helped or even if you are just reading this blog for the first time).

So I need to dig my DJ out, Loup will inevitably need to pop across the road to borrow something glamorous, and hopefully we'll have another wonderful experience to add to the collection.

Proud - very proud.... 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Running, jumping, swimming, wheeling, riding.... Tuesday 9th October

In the last blog I posed the question "what next ?" and while we have some control over what's next, in many ways we have none at all. Over the last few months we have tried to introduce more and more "non-physio physio". The intention being to try and introduce some variety - Ev is an 8 year old boy after all and the response of "boooooooring" has started to be uttered from time to time.

So, once a week, Ev goes up to a friend's stable to ride on their horse, Whitney (ex-dressage competition horse). This is largely "weather permitting" although he has done this from time to time wearing his rain poncho that usually covers the wheelchair on weather affected school runs.

We have also swapped some of the physio for a one-to-one swimming lesson (which, at 8:15 on a Saturday morning, means one less sleep-in opportunity, but no problem with that - just a large cup of tea required to help kickstart Loup who would admit herself isnt an early-bird). This has had a massive impact, not least with his confidence, and in the last few weeks he has made some great progress - to the point where he decided to just dive-in - to the great surprise of everyone watching. "I just decided to do it...." Ev replied when asked where that had come from. "I just decided to do it - and I did!!!"

The last "new stuff" which I have mentioned previously is the wheelchair racing - even though he has only been to a couple of sessions i'm loving the opportunity to get him doing something like this. Even if, for now, all he does is wheel himself up and down the 100 metre lanes his competitive streak is incredibly evident and while celebratory Krispy Kreme do-nuts on the way home for a new personal bests are a treat i'm not sure if my waistline can cope (well, it would be rude to not join in with him....)

However, there are still some niggling frustrations. All of this is all well and good. And it is good, very good - but Ev still seems a long way off properly walking independently - he has all of the "nuts&bolts", all the techniques, to do this but his confidence still seems a long way off. Yes, we mainly post the happy pictures, the positive updates and the occasionally inspiring video or celebratory tweet but for each of these there is a frustrating physio session where he can't get himself going, times when Loup (who bears a lot of the physio activity) gets upset when he'll only walk with her directly behind him so he can see she's still there and times when we simply wonder how much an eight year old can take.

Times when big progress seems to far away.

If only he would do something as small as walk from one sofa to another - a challenge Stephen (Ev's physio) has presented to him. It's nothing - four steps. He's done thousand plus steps in one go, he's walked to collect the Paralympic flame in front of a crowd, but if he would only walk these four steps it would be a massive thing for us.

Maybe we are being greedy.

But, almost out of nowhere, Ev decided to set himself this as a new challenge and - well, of course, seeing as i'm writing this blog about it - he did it. Not once, not twice, but perhaps twenty times. Good walking as well - not the couple of steps and then a lurch that he has been doing but good walking, hands down, and well controlled.

And then, well, he got so giddy, inspired by himself that he decided that wasnt enough. So he did this........

It seemed so ordinary, so matter of fact, and he did it over and over again.

A few small steps - but so much more than that.

Whatever next....... ?