Ren turned five years old last week. I still cannot believe it. She’s so funny, though – We started talking to her a few weeks ago about how her birthday was coming up and that she would be five years old soon. Every time she’d respond, “No, four!” However, a few days before her birthday, she finally accepted it, and when we asked her how old she was going to be, she would respond, “Five!” And when we asked if she wanted toys for her birthday, she said no. When we asked if she wanted clothes, she said yes! Such a girl.
Her birthday came, and she was so excited. She opened her presents with glee, including two books made especially for her from her twin brothers. Most of her presents involved her one and only favorite character — Dora. She received two Dora swimsuits, a Dora blanket, a Dora book, a Dora ball, a Dora microphone, and a Dora movie. Oh, and non-Dora presents that she also loved included a truck with sand toys (she loves playing outside in the rocks on our patio), an ABC puzzle (she LOVES puzzles!), a monkey shirt, a couple of books, and some knee high socks, since that’s all she can really wear with her AFO braces. Oh, and of course, she had a DORA cake! (see pic below)
Ren has been doing really well. She has had NO seizures since February! She had her meds increased one last time, I have been giving her vitamin E since then, and we had her go to one more cranial sacral therapy session. So, whether it s due to one or a combination of those factors, it’s working! Her walking is also really coming along (I put in a very brief video below of her walking outside) — We still need to go in and get a lift put on one of her shoes. Her left leg is slightly shorter than her right, and the thought is that this may be one reason why she sometimes trips over herself when she is walking with her walker. She is becoming more interactive with us and her brothers, despite her difficulty with speech. She has been playing the “What” game with her brothers. One of them will say her name, and she’ll say “What?” and they’ll say “You’re stuck with it!” and she’ll respond by saying one of their names, and if they say what, she can say “Stuck!” (with prompting).
Despite the nice progress I know she has made, I sometimes, like just tonight, still get really sad that she is not able to verbalize the way a “normal” five year old can. I think what’ s so hard is that, I know she IS normal, and to see her not be able to talk in a way that should represent her intellectual abilities is very hard. Especially because she will be in kindergarten next year. Sigh. Any extra prayers for her in this area would be really really great.
Back to the positive side – Ren is also staying really busy. She is still involved in swimming once a week, and just participated in an adaptive swim meet a week ago. That was a great time for her and everyone there. She got some ribbons (see pic below), a certificate, and a medal that she was so proud to have. She is also in music therapy, which works on fine motor skills, speech, and other things through music. She LOVES going there once a week. T and I think she wants to be a drummer. I’m thinking, though, that starting her out with piano or violin lessons in a couple years will be really great for her. AND, she has also just started Horse therapy. There are many possible benefits to that as well, and she seems to really like it so far too. No pictures for those therapies yet (because T takes her, not me!), but I will make sure I get some soon.
And, to bring this to a close…we are so blessed to have her in our lives. Though there are some difficulties and challenges – for us and her – due to her being born with a disability, the blessings far outweigh them. I thank God for her, and for the beliefs that were instilled in us about the value of life, so that we are able to have her in our lives (see pic below).