When Charlotte was evaluated for her program, the pediatrician told us that it would be six months to a year before Charlotte was walking (she was 19 months old at the time). When she had her physical therapy evaluation three weeks ago the therapist said it would be six to twelve months before she was walking normally (Charlotte, not the therapist). But I guess Charlotte is a little more like her sister than we thought; tell her she can't do something and she decides that that is the one thing that she must do.
Sooooo---drum roll, please . . . .
On Friday, Charlotte decided that it was time to prove everyone wrong. I took away the laundry basket she was using as a floor sander and she stood there looking at me and then just started walking. Six or eight steps at first, but then Hannah wanted Charlotte to walk to her too, so she went another six. And then another.
By Saturday morning, she was going as if she had been walking for months. Thomas and I sat about six feet apart at first, gradually moving out to about 15 feet. Charlotte just kept going from one of us to the other, stopping only long enough to get a hug before turning around again. She probably went 20 round trips before deciding that that was enough.
At first, my face just hurt. I couldn't drop the ear-to-ear grin. But then the cascade of emotions kept coming: amazement, relief, wonder, delight, pride, joy, and, yes, relief again. And then came the tears. It's been so hard to watch her running on those poor callused little knees. Hard having one pediatrician tell us that she had all of the symptoms that they see in kids with autism. Really hard trying to ignore the people who would say "Ooohhh" in that knowing way when they asked her age after discovering that she didn't walk or talk yet. After all, they don't know her like we do. They can't see the wheels turning and the knowing way she watches everything and absorbs everything.
But then Charlotte got up and walked and, just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, she signed "Daddy."