Last spring/summer when we were researching Avery’s surgical options, we came across Elena’s blog. She has had surgeries similar to both that we were researching, and from the videos and information on her blog, her physical challenges seemed to be very similar to Avery’s. Then, after Avery’s surgery, we were looking into additional therapy options closer to home, and our ABM therapist recommended a Feldenkrais practitioner in Charlottesville. After visiting his website and setting up an appointment, I realised he was Elena’s therapist too! The girls met briefly at his office one time, and they exchanged Christmas cards, but then we had to take a break from therapy, and we didn’t have a chance to get the girls together properly until this week.
Avery has no problem making friends. She’s actually a very confident and outgoing girl, and will strike up conversations with anyone. She is sweet, friendly, and sociable – she will never have a shortage of friends. But we all need friends with common experiences. People who can really understand us, because they have gone through the same thing. Even as her Mother, I do not know what it is like to be Avery. Yes, I have more of an idea than most because I am her mother, but I still wake up every morning, get out of bed, and walk to the bathroom. I have a body that does what I want it to do without me even having to think about it. I can imagine but I cannot understand the determination, focus, effort, and pain that has gone into every step Avery has ever taken, because for me it has been effortless. I have a hope that Elena and Avery could be valuable to each other, because their journeys toward physical independence are similar. They could understand each other in ways that even I can’t. Who knows, maybe they won’t get along in the long run, maybe they won’t want to be friends, but maybe they will be able to help each other as they grow up and figure out their places in the world.
So, we planned a trip to a park on one of the days we went up to Charlottesville for Feldenkrais. We saw Mr Keith, then met Elena and her little sister and Mom at a super fun little park nearby. Apparently Brogan decided this photo op was missing a cute tummy.
Running around and splashing and having fun!
I think this was Brogan’s idea of Heaven!! Sunshine, water, a park, a hundred friends yet to meet… Heaven on Earth!!
Oliver loved it too, in a slightly more subdued way. He was also running on less than half a nap, so he was a little sensitive, and big beach balls can be oh so aggravating!!
Brogan laughing at Avery’s wet hair. Avery telling him to go stand under the water, and finding it very funny when he does!
Elena’s Mom designed and built this beach walker for Elena. It’s pretty awesome! Avery tried it out too.
Avery walking around sans walker. We let her get her shoes and insoles wet, because it’s a lot less painful looking when her feet have some support! She is amazing. And that reminds me… I’ve got some video to put together of some of the things Avery has been doing since she started going back to therapy…….
Elena is too cute!
Playing with all the other park stuff too.
I like the way the two girls are checking each other out in the first picture. Very interested in how the other is getting around! Cute girls!
We went out for yummy pizza before heading home, which gave us and the kiddos more time to sit and talk, which was nice! I think Brogan found a little bit of a kindred spirit in Elena’s bouncy little sister, Viv!
Hopefully we will be able to get these cute kids together on a fairly regular basis! They had a good time together, and more than once I head Avery say, “This is the best day ever!!”