Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Heart of Why We Are Climbing...

"Mom, I'm going to try one more time and then if I still can't do it, we can just get me velcro shoes again."  Juli and I had been sitting on the floor of Kohl's trying on shoes with laces for over half an hour.  She had learned to tie her shoes at the end of last year at OT and at day care (thanks, Ms. Nora!), but we hadn't really practiced much over the summer (my fault).  Juli desperately wanted to have shoes with laces this school year, and I really wanted her to have them too, because the look of desperation in her eyes at that moment was crushing me.  So I showed her again how to tie her shoes.  She took a deep breath and concentrated hard, while watching me tie the shoe the other shoe she needed to try on...and she got it!  She was so excited, she ran to find Ryan and announced that she remembered how to tie her shoes.  She tried it 3 more times, each time with success, and so we left Kohl's with a pair of shoes with laces.

Earlier that day, we had been weeding out her clothes- figuring out what still fit and what was too small.  We came across 3 pairs of jeans.  "Mom, can't we just pass those on? I can't button them and they leave marks on me" (the buttons for the adjustable waist dig into her hips since she's so skinny).  In OT they have been working on buttoning and snapping pants, because Juli doesn't have the finger strength.  "Can you just try them on and see if they even fit you first?", I asked.  So she tried them on and struggled to button or snap (depending on the jeans) them shut.  I watched her trying so hard to do it.  "Mom, how about we save these and bring them to OT so Ms. Stephanie can work on it with me?"  "That sounds like a great idea, Juli."  "But I still don't like how they leave marks on me."  "That's fine, you don't have to wear them to school, but we can just practice on the buttoning."  Fortunately, Juli mainly wears skirts or dresses and leggings when needed, so I don't often have to worry about pants for her.  She does prefer the softer waist bands of sweat pants or athletic pants for the winter months, and I am happy to make sure she has those types of clothing.  My hope is to get her to the point where she can button or snap a pair of jeans, even if she doesn't want to wear them, just so that she knows she can.

Juli is why Noah and I chose to do the Willis Tower stair climb.  Noah loves his sister, and hurts when she struggles.  He has shown such patience with her when she reads or does math.  He showed her that it is okay to listen to books (audiobooks) this summer, and the two of them compare the ones they download from the library and sometimes listen to them together.  Sometimes, Noah will check the book out too, and will sit next to her while they listen to the audiobook and show her how to follow along.  He gets mad when she tells us that she is stupid (I get mad as well) and works hard to point out all the things she does well.  He is her protector, even if they fight.

Juli is why we are climbing.  Please consider donating to our journey up the 103 flights of stairs.

To donate for Noah click here.
To donate for me click here.
Can't decide, donate to Team Juli: the Mighty Minions.