I run with a purpose and a schedule, and I am like someone going to war with an intricate plan and a tight amount of time to complete those mind numbing tasks I fill my day with.
But my daughter moves slow. She simply cannot move fast, her body will not let her. She does not make quick turns, or run into the bathroom, or jump out of bed. She needs help to do all of these things. Granted, for a kid with CP, she can move pretty fast on her walker when she wants to. She can roll fast and pick up her feet and coast, but only on very specific surfaces and only when her little legs and arms are not exhausted.
One day this week, her legs were tired and it was way too hot. She wanted to stay home from camp and hang out with me all day. Ok, I thought, but I had a plan for today that involved a lot of running. In and out of the grocery store, Target, the library, etc. I had to drive and drop off and pick up her siblings at different times from various locations. But Shea can’t do that. She can’t jump out of the car and run into the grocery store, through the aisles, and to the register in record time. I have to get her out to the car, then load in her walker and her, then unload, then make it through what feels like a football field of food aisles to get a handful of things for dinner.
So I abandoned the carefully crafted plan for the day and put those things on the list for the next day. Target would wait, and we could live without laundry detergent for 24 hours. But I really had to get to the library to do some research on a piece I am working on. So that was going to be our errand. We got there and of course, there was no handicap parking. Finally circling the lot I found parking and got Shea and her walker out. Maybe it is the fact that she moves so much slower than anyone else, but she also notices the things that no one else does. And she has to tell me about all of them.
But she cannot walk and talk. Physically she can’t do this. Her therapist told me, that her legs cannot move at the same time as she talks. So she stops, constantly, to tell me things. At first, I was rushing her along. “Tell me later, sweetie.” And off I would go. She is always so amazed at everything, so taken by the things around her. The structure of the building and the windows she thought were beautiful, the vending machine with M&Ms that she wanted, the elevators and the smell from the last rian.
Everything was something worth commenting on.
And I started to move slower with her. I laughed at how funny she was, I listened when she told me something, and I was interested in what she wanted to look for to read. We met a very nice librarian who took her from shelf to shelf trying to find just her interest and reading level. She happened upon a book about princesses of different colors, and they were chapter books.
Shea was so excited. She checked out 20 books to my 10, and read all the way home out loud.
We didn’t get to the store. We didn’t get to Target. And we survived. We talked, we laughed, and I slowed down to her pace. She will probably never move too terribly fast, but the view may just be better from her point of view and her very own pace.