With three quick steps, you can reach the porch to the main entrance of our house or descend to the yard. Three steps with no hand rail. Rich and I very much dislike that porch. The commonness of it. The inexpensive route of the builder. Allie and Em mastered those steps what seems like ages ago but was probably only within the past year. Anna, on the other hand, lacks the balance and muscle strength for tasks that appear to be easy for a four year old.
The norm in our house is to find Anna standing at the top or bottom of those stairs, her little hand held out waiting for assistance. She speaks one word. "Help." Lately, both Rich and I have been pushing her outside of her comfort zone. Physical therapy ended with the school year and will resume in a few short weeks but that doesn't mean that physical activity has been lacking.
Last week, I suggested to Anna that she try to come down the steps without any assistance. I told her that I would spot her as I held my arms out in front of and next to her, providing her with an invisible safe cocoon.
Soft landing in the grass.
"You did it, Anna! You did that all by yourself!!! Mommy is so proud of you!!!"
Maggie's birthday party was this past Saturday. We were in a bit of a scramble (as usual) to leave our house so Rich, on his way out to pack up necessities and the gift in the van, propped open the screen door so that little munchkins could exit on their own. As I searched for my flip flops, Anna sat on the floor in the front hallway patiently threading the straps of her sandals through the metal rings. I disappeared into the family room to grab my camera bag.
"Anna, don't forgot to-"
I returned to the front hall expecting to see Anna standing by the door or on the porch, waiting for my hand. That has been our routine. She wasn't there. I glanced into the front part of the family room. She wasn't there either.
And then I spotted her. She had stopped at the sound of her name and was looking back up at the house from the front yard. She had conquered those steps all by herself without hesitation and was following the flagstone path to the driveway.
We're getting there, Anna. We're getting there.