A little over a week ago, Coleman started sitting up. It started with Kolette putting him in the right position and him more “leaning with help” than actually sitting. It wasn’t long though until that “leaning with help” turned into “sitting with help.”
Then, just like so many other things, one day he woke up and had it. We still had to be close by to make sure he didn’t fall, or place the Boppy around him so if he did fall, it’d be on something soft that could break his fall. That Boppy, is there anything it can’t do?
Anyhow, watching him sit there I got an idea.
One of the most difficult things about being the father of a baby while confined to a wheelchair, is watching all the people who love Cole so much playing with him down on the carpet on his level. Sometimes it really makes my heart ache not to be able to be right down there wrestling, playing, or just laying with my boy on his turf.
When he was younger, and a lot less mobile, he would lay over my shoulder, or on my chest and it could fulfil my need to be close to him. Now, he’s moving around like a whirling dervish, and when I hold him over my shoulder he’s looking back and forth so much it is often difficult to get any “face to face” time.
With my heart yearning to get the carpet feel with Cole, I watched him sit up. The more stable he became the more courage I gained and finally got the stregnth–the intestinal fortitude if you will–to try this idea I’d been cooking up. It wasn’t a groundbreaking idea by any stretch of the imagination, but it was an idea that had a profound effect on our lives
I had Kolette sit him up on our countertop and I wrapped my arms around his little bottom to keep him from falling backwards on the granite. Coleman was a little pensive at first, not quite sure about sitting on the cold rock instead of the warm carpet, and a little nervous about the height.
Those concerns quickly passed, he looked at me, and then there we were. Face to face just as if we were laying on the carpet together. It was magical. We laughed together, played together, and sang together–never forgetting to grunt, growl and shout to profess our manhood; all separated by inches instead of feet.
I loved every minute of it. I kept him up there until he was so tired that he looked like he was going to fall asleep sitting up.
When we decided to have Cole, I knew that there were going to be lots of things I wasn’t going to be able to do. I knew I was going to have to count on his Grandpa Hall to teach him to golf, his Grandpa Coleman to teach him how to throw a baseball. I knew his uncles would have to be involved. Uncle Nate would have to show him how to stif-arm his opponent, Uncle Clint would be in charge of teaching him how to catch a football, and Uncle Brandon would oversee lacrosse instruction.
What I’ve found however, is that the best times are those where we figure out a way around, beat the system, and do it on our own. I love my boy so much. I know it’ll be a long time before I forget that first day on the countertop where he was sittin’ up and I was flyin’ high.