I love looking back at older posts and seeing how far we've come over the years. It helps me, in moments of uncertainty, to go back and remember the things I worried about a year ago, and know how they actually turned out. The Family Picnic is one of those posts that changes year to year.
For the last 3 years we have attended the SBGNO Family Picnic at Lafreniere Park. Each year has been an entirely different experience for us...
The first year we sat under an oak tree,at the base of an enormous hill nearby. We watched kids of all different abilities make their way up that hill, grinning ear to ear with pride. Walkers, wheelchairs, crutches,and braces....It didn't matter how they got to the top... just that they got there. I looked at my 10 month old and wondered how, if, or when she would make her way to the top.
Last year, we took our place again under the oak tree. Maddie had started using a walker, and was doing well, but still needed alot of help. It took all of her energy to move it through the grass, and she wasn't ready for inclines yet.
As I sat under that tree I watched another little girl make her way to the top of the hill...She had blonde hair, and bright pink crutches. She was inspiring.
I looked over at Maddie, and felt such pride at how far she'd come, and hope for the day she too would climb to the top.
This year she was ready. This year she made her way to the top of that hill, first holding my hand, and then again all on her own. This year her face said it all. It's hard to put into words what I felt while watching her. Joy...Pride..relief.
I think as parents, we all want our kids to succeed...At the end of the day,we just want them to believe in themselves, and believe that if you have faith and never give up, anything is possible. There's nothing more heartbreaking for a parent, than seeing your child lose faith in their own strengths and abilites. And as much as I try to encourage my kids, and cheer them on in all that they do, it can't compare to that single moment when they attempt and succeed at something entriely on their own. The shy, proud smiles, the look in their eyes as they glance to make sure I'm still watching...It does my heart good to see them finding their own independence...and serves as a reminder for me to stop worrying about the future. These kids are incredible, and one way or another, in their own way, in their own time, they will always make their way to the top.