Special needs parenting

Stop and Smell the Gum Leaves

I did something different this morning.

Usually I leave with 10 minutes for us to walk the 300 metres to the bus stop, which honestly is ample time for a walk that can be done in 3 minutes! lol even with that extra time, every morning is filled with lots of –

Come on Ella, Hurry Up Ella, I’ll leave you behind Ella (she doesn’t care) We’ll miss the bus Ella (again, she doesn’t care 😂)  lots of holding her by the hand and coaching her along, Telling her to put down various twigs and sticks, on the bad days there’s yelling etc etc.   It can be really frustrating for both of us!

Anyway, this morning, we were all up early (thanks Reece) and ready so I figured, fuck it, we’ll head off half an hour before we usually do, it’s the last day of school.
I let Ella lead the way, and of course we didn’t even make it out of the driveway before she was distracted by a little spider, I stopped and let her play with it for a bit, and before I knew it she was ready to keep going. 15 steps later she stopped to walk sideways along the fence, again I just dawdled along beside her, we stopped to poke and stomp on some ants nests, and pick up a rock…  And it was about here, not even past our property line, that it hit me

She can walk



Not that long ago she would have needed her chair to get even this short amount of distance, and as we stopped yet again to pick gum trees off and smell them I thought about her wheelchair, The chair that offered us so much freedom when we got it, now sitting in the garage with a thin layer of dust on it, and I realised I don’t even remember the last time we needed it, and how lucky we were.

How lucky am I that I get to tell at Ella to hurry up.  As we stopped yet again for Ella to walk backwards for a while, and wave at the ducks I thought How lucky are we that Ella gets to play with ant nests and pull leaves of trees and fuck around however she wants.

Snapchat-200319720As I watched her more closely, a half hour that previously would have been excruciatingly long, went by in an instant.  I saw the expression of wonder on her face at the tiny ants, and the amazement as she stopped to watch a plane fly past until it was out of sight.  Tiny little moments that I would have missed, had I been telling her to hurry up and watching the time

I remember clear as day being told that Ella will never walk, a concept so abstract and scary to me, I tried to come to terms with it, and it took me until she was around 3 and still not walking before i think i accepted it.  Yet here she is, walking (very slowly at the moment) inspecting, exploring, and I felt truly lucky.
I’m in a unique position to be able to appreciate something that I think most people take for granted, and I’ve been so busy lately, focused on schedules and goals that I had forgotten that.  A kid that can walk, what a gift, what an honour!

IMG_20181220_080128_1Now this isn’t some bullshit inspirational “I’m going to change my life” post.  I’m definitely not going to start getting up an hour early so that Ella can dawdle her way to school every morning, and lets face it I’ll probably still need to tell her to hurry up from time to time!

But I will make sure to appreciate what we have, and try to make more time to explore with Ella.
I think that’s something that Ella can teach us all, to just stop and smell the gum leaves.


3 thoughts on “Stop and Smell the Gum Leaves”

  1. Beautiful post Mel

    We hope you Joel,Ella and Reece ave a wonderful Christmas and that 2019 sees you and your family continuing to kick those goals and enjoy your lives

    Lotsa love
    Lindel and Ross

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. The reason Ella is walking is all because you put in years of work so Ella could learn to walk. Others may say “years, really” but it was years, and bloody hard years too. I know how amazed you are that Reece just walked one day, no walking frames, no splints or standing frames, he just did it. l am so happy you get to experience what it’s like to be just a Mum .
    Ella is so lucky to have you as her Mum. All the things she has achieved, things the doctors and specialists told you she wouldn’t do, and has achieved, are all due to your patience, and, determination and Ella too, she is just as determined as you.. I know how much time and effort you put in so Ella can be the best she can be, and that is so much more than the doctors, the genetic specialists, and all the other so called experts. Most of them have never seen a child with CDC, so most of them have no clue. I am so proud to be your Mother. You are fucking amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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