Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hidden Depths

At age 5, Luke needed leg surgery to fix a congenital problem that plagued him from when he first started moving around on his own. In the months before the surgery, I spent nights awake fretting about what might go wrong, and also how he'd react to the whole operation/months in a cast/pain at the surgery site thing. I just couldn't imagine my sensitive, fragile boy handling all that surgery brings.

He proved my worrying to be baseless - in addition to sailing through the surgery itself, Luke bounced back incredibly fast. He dropped the walker within a week, just forgot to bring it to brush his teeth one night. He understood and used the pain scale, so that when he needed pain meds, he got 'em. He really worked in PT, and gave his therapist a few iTunes tips as well; in short, our Luke was a real trooper.

Fast-forward to now; the leg still gives him trouble, he hasn't found a sport he is passionate about, he enjoys reading more than playing outside. All of which might make a parent forget what a trooper he can be - at times, I worry about Luke's physical fitness, and mental fitness, too.

I worry that maybe he won't be strong enough to make it in the world, someday.

Well, whenever I feel fretful for my Luke, I'm going to remember today - the day he overcame a huge fear and went down a giant indoor waterslide here in the Rocky Mountains. He stood for 20 minutes at the top of the slide, even got on and then off again more than once - but eventually, he did it. And, of course, he LOVED it!

(So, stupid Mama says after that first slide, "Well, you can do it one or two more times, and then we've got to get going..." Tears, oh the flood of tears! Thankfully, Grandpa steps in, with a big bear hug, and says, "Luke, you can go down that slide as many times as you want!" Stupid, stupid Mama.)

And then, to top off his big day, he climbed up a 25-foot climbing wall, with ease, and rang the bell at the top! The thing is, Luke took on this climb with grace and coordination more often seen in his little brother Owen - born with an instinctive knowledge of how to move his body that Luke doesn't seem to have.

At least, that's what I thought until I watched my Luke climb the wall! He was not the least bit scared. He rested every few steps - on his feet, not on the rope - and then kept on going; by the time he made it up, 4 or 5 people had stopped to watch this small boy up at the top of the wall.

I, of course, watched him through tears - of pride, relief, and joy that my boy is what he is: sensitive, fragile, and a trooper.

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