Today I measured my children against the door frame in Oliver’s room. I love seeing how much they’ve grown! It’s easy not to see the little changes when they happen day by day, only noticing the change when you realise their pants or sleeves are too short. The nice thing about keeping a visual record like this is that we can look at it together and realise “Hey, Avery’s grown 2.5 inches in the past 10 months! Brogan’s grown 3 whole inches! And Oliver’s grown 3 inches in only 4 months!” Avery and Brogan find it pretty exciting to see the difference, saying, “I’m almost tall like a grown up!!!” I find it just as exciting! All of a sudden, the little changes add up and you realise how big those changes really are! My babies are growing up and up, and they’re doing it at a frighteningly fast pace!
Back in July 2011, we made a video of Avery’s motor skills (see below), with motions specified by Dr Park’s SDR crew (back when we were considering SDR for Avery… I hope we don’t have to consider it again!). It was a very interesting exercise! There were things that actually surprised us about Avery’s physical abilities. We live and work with her day in and day out, so you’d think that we would be completely aware of what she could and couldn’t do! But doing this video helped us see some areas where she was stronger than we realised, and other areas which were more challenging for her than we thought. We tried to make another one of these videos a few weeks after Avery’s SPML surgery, but she was still in casts, and still in pain, so it wasn’t a fair or accurate measure. But sometime in the next few days, we will be making another one of these videos. I am excited to do it. I am excited to see the changes, and I know there will be big changes! We will add a couple more motions (like going up and down stairs, which is not an easy thing for her yet) so that when we make another video in a few months, we will be able to see her progress.
Keeping a visual record like this will be a positive experience, in part for the same reasons as marking growth on the door frame. We might not notice the changes as they happen day by day, but when we look back, we will be able to see how much really has changed. Avery may face days when she feels discouraged by her physical limitations, and she may think things are never going to get better. I think that having a video record like this will be a healthy thing for her, because she will be able to look back and realise how far she has really come.
Watch this space for the new video…!