Today Ally loved the park.
It's hard to stay balanced across all the poles.
When she reached the bottom she would give Cloey a smooch
Then hop up the hill, on both feet.
Up and down and she went.
But then the lure of hanging was too strong. It always has been and probably always will be her favorite thing at the park. Hanging.
While spinning she saw a bunny! Cloey went crazy barking and the bunny ran away.
But Ally kept swinging. We tried a new thing today, to see how many rotations she could hang for. She made it to 10 1/2. She did that many twice, and tried several times to beat it, but the giggles beat her.
And said "take my picture"
And hammed it up for me.
It's hard to believe how far she has come in just a few months.
On the way home she took a deep breath and told me "I need to take a break when we get home" that is code for, my ankle hurts and I need to rest it. I said ok, and when we got home she read a book for a while snuggled up with Cloey and ate a snack.
No tears today, no meltdown. Just an exceptional 9 year old girl coping with her chronic pain.
It's been a quiet weekend. But not without some important milestones:
On Friday Ally went to gymnastics practice. This was the first time in months she attended practice twice in a week. She had a private lesson with her coach to try and master her round off back handspring. Ally wants to perform it with her team mates at the annual show in 3 weeks. They will all be doing round off double back handsprings or back tucks. But the single is a skill she had mastered last summer. She is embarrassed she has to relearn it. She told me she was nervous to practice it in front of everyone. Her coach and Mama and I keep telling her, she has nothing to be embarrassed about. But I can imagine how it feels to relearn a skill you once knew. She worked hard one on one with her coach, she has the skill back, just has to get her confidence in her ability and over her fear of the pain. She did 75 minutes of gymnastics and asked to go home. She was tired. Her coach told me that Ally's commitment to gymnastics is amazing.
She came home and went to bed. Was asleep by 630 pm. I'm so proud of her. Proud she tried to so hard, proud she knew her limits and proud she doesn't give up on what she has so much fun doing. I say she has a "gymnastics smile" it comes out when she is in the gym. I saw it Friday.
On the way to practice we had a good conversation about her pain. I started by saying I know we're not supposed to talk about pain, but I had a few questions. Does it still hurt? YES She says she still has pain. Pretty much all the time. But she uses her coping skills to do what she wants and needs to do. She said it hurts during ballet, but she does ballet anyway. It hurts at gymnastics but she loves gymnastics and does it anyway. It hurts at school, but she can use her fidgets and school pain management plan to stay in her classroom and learn. I asked her if she believed the pain would go away. She said yes.
I'm so glad she has that faith and belief and confidence that the pain will go away.
I thanked her for talking to me about it.
On Saturday morning Ally was awake at 640. That was 12 hours of sleep! She said she felt well rested.
We did a lot of work in her room, packing up toys she doesn't play with right now and giving away some furniture. To make room for American Girl play spaces. She wants to keep her dolls out and we set up areas for school, bedroom, bathroom and gymnastics. She loves it.
Then she had ballet. Her June recital dance is beautiful. She and her classmate (it's just the 2 of them) have a wonderful dance.
After ballet she went to her friend Aiden's party at Laser Tag with a friend. She managed by herself for 3+ hours. She came home, read and ate dinner then took a shower and went to bed. After a good night sleep again last night she was up and at things again this morning.
She played on her Kinect for about 90 minutes before the park trip I wrote about above.
Lots of movement, lots of exercise, lots of fun.
Just the way 9 should be.