Oct 15, 2010


Walking is something that we take for granted.
All it takes is a minor injury and you realize how fortunate you are when your body is working well 
In April Ainsley's hips and legs were cut apart and reshaped and she now has plates in her legs. I often wonder what it feels like to her to try to walk and I wish it came more easily to her and we didn't have to spend so much time and energy trying to teach her something that my other kids learned with very little effort, something I didn't appreciate at the time.

Our house is a modest old Craftsman bungalow built in 1919. It doesn't have space for a walker. So when I really want to see how Ainsley can do in her walker I want to get her into an open space. Sometimes I take her to the kids' school at pickup time and we linger on the playground.

Friday was a beautiful fall day. Perfect. The 4th graders have started music lessons and they are so excited about their instruments. 
Evie picked the violin.  She has wanted to play for years (so she says). I just hope she'll practice.

A group of 4th grade girls were on the playground playing music. They were excited. The sun was exquisite. The girl on the saxophone was so enthusiastic I was inspired to take their photos though I really brought the camera to take pictures of Ainsley.

It was the perfect day to be out.

Ainsley was happy. She always is. But she was especially happy.

We tried out Ainsley's new basket for her walker. One day I'll have to blog a how-to make your own trach baby doll.

Even though I know her school therapist would disapprove because she wasn't using good form we taught her to run down the hill. For the first time in her life she felt what it is like to feel the air blowing through her hair, her feet barely able to keep up. She LOVED it.

Evie, can be so wonderful at times. She helped Ainsley walk up the hill and run back down over and over in a true testament to sisterly love and dedication.

It was truly beautiful. Ainsley was happy to do it over and over again.

She also thinks it's fun to hang off the arms of her walker. She's building some serious upper body strength.

You may notice she's got some funny boots on. Under those impostor Uggs are AFO's. I had to dig out a pair of Evie's old shoes that they would fit into. We haven't used them since we got them in the spring, for participating in a fitting workshop, before Ainsley's surgery and she's now dangerously close to outgrowing them. I thought okay, maybe they do make a difference because she was doing so well. Then right before we left I thought I should take them off and see how she did. She was very happy because you see, they aren't all that comfortable. I was glad I'd thought of it because in actuality she did almost as well without them. The only difference is that her right leg turns out a bit without the AFO, because the AFO holds the ankle into a fixed position. Her right hip is in a slightly different position which makes it appear that leg is slightly longer so I think she just doesn't know how to compensate. I want Ainsley to strengthen her muscles so that she can walk without AFO's, though she likely will need shoe inserts to help keep her feet from pronating

We've been loading the walker on the bus everyday so she can use it to walk into school, for free-play time and for recess. She's used it for over an hour at a time at home or out and about like at Salmon Days. And for her private physical therapy on Tuesdays, which has been great for her (a topic for another post). All this increased time in the walker has really helped her build strength. An average 4 year old spends much of their day on their feet, so we are trying to have Ainsley do more and more of that. So far it seems to be working and her little legs and butt are finally building some muscle. It's pretty exciting.

This isn't representative of good walking form but I thought you'd enjoy seeing Ainsley "running".


  1. Look at that smile!!
    Just when I thought my heart had already melted it happened again and again.
    Way to go Ainsley and Way to go Evie on playing the super big sister perfectly.

  2. You always post the best pictures! And you gotta love a title of "Running" when you're talking about Ainsley!! Better watch out - who knows what she'll do next?!?!?! Love the band, too!

    Okay, I think I'm all caught up now.