“Your love keeps lifting me higher than I’ve ever been lifted before
(keep on, keep on lifting me…higher and higher)”
I did. I sang a little Jackie Wilson to Charlie this last week and danced a very gentle jig as we rode up and down and up and down on his new wheelchair lift.
This was a big thing coming for us. Months and months of working with a special needs contracting company and volunteer carpenters and architects and physical therapists, not to mention actually cleaning out the garage which still had boxes in it that hadn’t been touched since our last move four years ago. Jody and I stayed up late nights with the moths and the mosquitos and cleaned and cleaned and made a space for the thing that would give our kid some space.
But it was more than that. I was nervous. Really, really nervous to have this new animal in our life. This thing meant defeat in a way. I was surrendering my ultimate role as “mom who can do everything” for Charlie. The truth is, he’s getting heavy and long, like a baby horse. That’s what it feels like carrying him up those stairs every day, like carry a baby horse who occasionally kicks you by accident.
But it was my job.
But my back hurts.
But I love holding him close.
But he needs freedom.
But he’s my baby.
And so on and so forth…
We prayed and did it anyway. And last week was the inaugural ride. And I sang and cried and Charlie pushed the button by himself and laughed and signed for “more” and so we went up and down until his finger got tired.
Like everything else in regards to Charlie, this turned out to be so much better than I had imagined. All my jitters stilled. One more prayer has been answered for him to find independence and a little more life that is just his.
That’s all I want for him, all any mom wants for her kids, a little more life that is theirs. It still hurts a bit though. He’s still my boy and I don’t want to let go, even when my arms shake from the effort. But like any boy his age, he also needs freedom to roam. And now he can.