I have two pages in my scrapbook to show some of the playgrounds we went to.
If you click on the pictures to enlarge them you will see that I am often hanging from the monkey bars or the rings. I was usually the only one in my class that could go all the way across. The rest of my friends would drop to the ground after two or three bars. Not me. My dad would tell me I was like the monkey at the zoo swinging from branch to branch.
A message from mom: At first glance these just look like photos at playgrounds. And to Sarah that's what they are. To me they represent so much more. Like hours and hours of physical therapy. Yet something even greater. A few months ago I wrote about Sarah's birth story and described the day I was driving and came upon a school. It was the sight of the playground that brought me to tears, uncontrollable sobbing in fact. It was a visual for my fear. The frightening thoughts that Sarah would never learn to swing, or climb, possibly even walk or run. I think too, I worried that she would not be allowed to play on the equipment with the other children.
Years later, I look back with great fondness as we drove from playground to playground. Sarah could spot one a mile away. She just loved them. I vividly remember hearing parents whisper about the "little girl" while watching their kids fall off swings or not be able to successfully cross from one side of the monkey bars to the other. Sarah would patiently wait her turn. Then she would proceed to quickly swing from bar to bar and then back again. I would just smile. That's when the other children would frequently include her in their play.
The upper body strength she developed was incredible. It didn't matter to her that she had a scar longer than my hand running down her chest or a deep indentation in her neck where her trach tube was once located. She did not listen to the naysayers that didn't believe she could do it. She just climbed her way to the top and performed her playground magic. Actually, I'm not sure that Sarah was aware that she didn't have to do it. Truthfully, that's one of the things I love about her. She just keeps trying. Sarah never gives up. I wish I had known that the day I shed all those tears.