Monday, October 24, 2016

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Yesterday was gorgeous. Warm (oddly warm for mid-October) and sunny and just beautiful. The kind of day where you have to spend it outside. So many of us decided to take a walk to a nearby park.

Our walk took us right by a favorite spot, the neighborhood Little Free Library. It was a banner day because yesterday it was filled with children's schlock. Princesses... pretty ponies... TV characters. It was so difficult for the younger set to choose.

And when you have new books, you must look at them, whether you are on a walk or not.

Seven blocks later, we made it to the park.

One of the highlights of this park, other than its size, is that it is right on the lake and there are plenty of rocks (otherwise known as blocks of concrete) to climb on.

More book reading.

See what a beautiful day it was? Looking south you can see the Chicago skyline,

and looking north you can see Northwestern.

Kenzie got to come along as well. He was very well behaved. Well, except for the barking at other dogs. That was tiresome. It is so nice to have a dog who can join us on outings. Gretel could never manage it no matter how often we tried. It just made her anxious and would pull and whine and pace and slather the entire time we would be out. It was not relaxing to have her along. It does make us appreciate Kenzie's calmer demeanor.

And then we walked seven blocks home. I'm thrilled to say that Y. was able to do it under her own steam, at the same pace as the rest of us, and never fell once, even though we didn't take her crutches. This is no small accomplishment and really highlights exactly how much strength she has gained in eight months.

There were a couple of scooters brought along and shared, and toward the end of the walk, R. really, really wanted a chance to try. She hadn't shown much interest in the scooters until now, so the fact that she noticed other people were having fun with them and that she might be able to have fun with one as well was kind of a small victory on its own. So for the last, homestretch block, we let R. ride on the scooter. With some prodding she managed to scooter, more or less, the rest of the way home.

Since her life is pretty much all therapy, all the time, I think I'll have her ride the scooter a lot more while the weather is still decent. It forces her left foot to not toe out, and oddly, when her left foot is straight, so is her right. Plus, she pushes herself along with her right leg, which is the one which needs more strengthening. (Because when the neurologist tells me that her right leg will just always be weaker, it makes me want to prove the doctor wrong.) And it forces a movement across the midline and balancing, which are also things that are still very much a struggle for R.

So, we made the most of the beautiful day.

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