Why walk, when you dream of flying?

If you’re ever wondering what kind of day Willow is having, flip her over.

This dirty derriere is a sign of good day. It’s also a sign that I need to mop. Bloody Playdough.

If you can’t tell, Willow is a master tush traveler. A butt scooter, is another way to put it. Hardwood, carpet, sand or pavement, this girl can get around via her bum. Quickly, too.

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Another good day

While many marvel at her posterior power, others question it.

“Why isn’t she walking yet?”

“Is that normal?”

“Will she ever walk?”

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Give me a break!

It doesn’t help that Willow turns 3 in another month. Most kids her age are running races around their houses. Willow is content bringing up the rear on her rear. Obviously her inability to walk raises eyebrows and questions no matter where we go.

I get it.

It only hurts when people equate her mobility to her mental capacity, as if she’s not smart enough to know how to walk. That’s far from the case.

Low muscle tone has been Willow’s biggest obstacle. It’s one of the defining characteristics of Down syndrome. Doctors and therapists call it hypotonia and it affects every muscle in Willow’s body. It’s why Willow has been in physical therapy twice a week since infancy. It’s also why Willow’s speech is delayed. Hypotonia is why most of the milestones come later than usual. It’s also why we celebrate them with more intensity. This girl works hard for everything.

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Of course, hypotonia can come in varying degrees. That would be why some children with Down syndrome walk sooner than others. But, let me assure you, Willow will walk.

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Let me also assure you that we’ve tried every trick in the book to get her there faster. Her muscles, for the most part, are ready. She’s proven that by taking several steps on her own. I think the biggest hurdle at this point is desire.

Why walk, when you dream of flying?

Willow knows where she wants to go. Right now, scooting gets her there and it’s a lot less work than walking. She doesn’t care if her choice to sit makes her stand out. She doesn’t care if her shorts are in shambles. She doesn’t care if her booty shaking leaves some shaking their heads. She’s The Mighty Willow, strong in her convictions, unshaken by what others think.

Lord, may she never change….. And, might I add, thank you for the blessing of bleach.

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6 thoughts on “Why walk, when you dream of flying?

  1. My daughter is 3 years and 3 months old and just started to walk independently. I don’t know if the joy I feel watching her toddle around on her own will ever lessen. Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait! One of the blessing of Down syndrome that I’m discovering is the pure joy and outrageous celebration that occurs when those milestones are reached…..and they are reached….on her terms and in her time.

  2. Hi,

    I just found your blog this morning. Yesterday my OB told me that one of the twins I’m carrying has a 97% chance of having DS. We are also believers. When I started my Online search, I was led to your blog. Are you ever willing to talk to an overwhelmed mama? The would be a huge answer to prayer.

  3. Hi Jennifer,
    Willow is adorable!!! You can just see her amazing spirit written all over her face. My father forwarded to me your article that was written by Tracey Briggs. My husband and I used to live in Moorhead, my parents still live in Fargo. We have 6 kids and our youngest, who was a definite gift from God, just turned 4 and has Down syndrome. He is such a sunshine, and we enjoy him so much. I love your blog! I read some of your past postings. We live in St Louis and have lots of resources here but I discovered National Association for Child Development when Karson was only a month old. They are based in Utah but there is a chapter in Minneapolis. Our experience with them has been a God send for Karson. I hesitate to give unsolicited advice but I can understand moving from a larger community to one that might not provide the same opportunities. You can contact me if you would like more information or look up their website if your interested. Good luck with your move! I’m so jealous, wish we were closer to the beautiful lakes around Brainerd!!

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