It’s crazy to think that roughly this time frame, 9 years ago, Callie was being fitted for her very first prosthetic leg.
We had to spend a week at the hospital in Dallas to teach her to how to walk with her new prosthetic. The physical therapists said that it would be easier to just stay on site that way we could take several breaks through the day as they anticipated her getting tired very quickly. We would be free to come and go in the hospital as we pleased and would have several sessions a day with the team. They would work with Callie on her gait, getting her leg used to the prosthetic, adjust the alignment, and watch for wear spots on her skin which was an indication the prosthetic team would need to make an adjustment.
I thought my heart was prepared for her to take her first steps in it. It wasn’t. It was a rush of emotion–from relief to joy to pride. You could see the flash of trepidation on her face and then it was sheer jubilation as she figured out the hot pink thing attached to her would let her walk. It was like everything in our relationship. Just like her first breath, her first giggle, and her first smile. Her first step was my own. It didn’t matter that she was almost two and taking her first step. It didn’t matter that she was on a completely different timeline than other kids. It didn’t matter that she was learning to walk in a hospital instead of in our living room at home. None of that mattered during that moment. Our sweet little girl, our little warrior, had taken her first steps.
We spent three days in the hospital instead of seven because Callie took to her new leg so quickly. They physical therapists told us we “graduated early” since they truly couldn’t give Callie anything else to work on….she had taken to her leg like she had been born with it. We would just walk the halls, letting her get her footing, letting her test her boundaries. We would go for walks outside the hospital and I’m sure people probably thought we were crazy as much as we would cheer for her when she took steps unassisted. They didn’t realize how monumental those tiny steps were to our family.
Looking back at these pictures, it seems like a lifetime ago. It also seems like just yesterday. They say don’t look back at your past…but sometimes it’s important to see how far you’ve come. It’s a good reminder that back then we dreamed of being where we are now.
Our journey of a thousand miles started that day, with a single step.