Jessica, Namine and I went to a running store yesterday. Jessica needed a pair of shoes with good arch support, physical therapist’s orders. And the shoes with the best arch support are running (or sports in general) shoes. My dad came along to give advice on which kind would be best. I wasn’t needed; only my wallet was. Running shoes are ‘spensive, I tell ya. But I digress. I was sitting on one of the chairs holding Namine, when she said “More!”

“More what?” We had already eaten lunch (well, it was cereal, but we hadn’t gotten up until 11:50, so I classified that as lunch), and we didn’t bring any snacks, so I had no idea what she wanted more of.

“No. More!” Namine insisted, pointing at the floor.

“Oh, floor.” That made more sense. She hates to sit still, and loves to scoot around on the floor. “I can’t put you on this floor, sweetie. It’s dirty, and there are too many people walking around.”

That seemed to satisfy her momentarily, and then she spied one of those slanted shoe mirrors. “Meer!”

“You want to go look in the mirror?”

“Uh huh. Meee!” She said, rubbing her chest in the sign for please.

How could I say no to such a good mannered girl? “That’s fine with me,” I said, carrying her over to the mirror. I knelt down, sitting Namine down on one leg. She was half sitting, half standing. I sit her like that whenever I can because it allows her to put as much weight as she wants on her legs, but she can relax and sit back when her legs get tired. Almost as soon as I sat her down, I felt her trying to get up. Her legs are getting stronger every day, but she doesn’t yet have the strength to stand herself up on her own, without something to grab on to. I held my hands out in front of her. “Do you want to stand up?”

“Uh huh!” She grabbed my hands and pulled herself up. She stood there for a moment, finding her balance. Then she did something she’s never done before: she let go.

I kept my hands out, expecting her to grab on again. She didn’t, not for another ten seconds or so. But when she did, she didn’t just plop herself down on my leg again; holding on to my hands again, she eased herself down. This is what amazes me about Namine. She so obviously wants to stand and walk. She will stand when she gets the chance, and at home, she will stand up using whatever she can. Her physical therapists work her much harder then we do at home, but even so, she still has the drive to work herself at home. Even after a long, hard therapy session.

It wasn’t long before Namine wanted to get up again. But she wasn’t content to stand still; she tried turning in order to go back towards Jessica. Turning is much harder, and it still foils her. But that’s what parents are for; I helped her turn and we started walking back towards the chairs.

When we got to the chairs, Namine refused to sit down. She insisted on holding herself up in front of the chair, until her legs, shaking from the stress of weight, wouldn’t support her any longer. Then she eased herself down once again.


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