Erin is my baby, my littlest, my last. She has been through so much and I know I am over protective. I struggle to let her go and I am forever scared for her. Her medical conditions worry me and cause me to hold my breath when I see her doing some things. Take today at a children’s birthday party, the children were excited to see a large bouncy castle for them all to jump on. I just saw an instrument ready to dislocate a hip. With every jump and whoop she took I expected hear a yelp and cry. It’s pretty exhausting being Erin’s mum and the legacy of ddh is cruel, it’s spiteful and remembers how to hurt. This week I saw Erin’s medical records – it made me cry. I didn’t expect to feel that raw emotion again. It was hard reading the doctors interpretations of how Erin presented in those GP appointments before diagnosis for DDH. The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Today I have been tested. Erin’s greatest talent is swimming (apart from her smiling determination) – she is totally awesome, she swims with children a school year older than her. She whoops them. She is confident and happiest when swimming. She wears no swim aids and moans like crazy when her lesson finishes, all this from a girl who who missed ten months of lessons whilst confined from belly to ankles in a fibre glass casing.
Erin is a mermaid. I love my time in the water with her and make sure we practice once a week in addition to her lesson. However her teacher who has moved Erin through the classes far sooner than I had ever expected said that she would like Erin in her new class that is soon to be starting. More progress I smiled to myself yet when her swim teacher explained the changes my heart and my head had a major falling out.
The swim school elite will be carried out with parents on poolside and not in the water. My not yet four year old will be swimming with no swim aids in pool where she cannot touch the floor. I know she has the ability. Erin wants to do this, she thinks it is a great idea. Me, well I’m feeling totally gah and out of my depth! I need to let go and do this but I just want to be there by her side. The tears well when I think about how far she has come and I do I need to let her do this. My fears are mine and I don’t want to pass them on to her. She will have many battles to fight because of her hypermobility, ddh and asthma. Her mother shouldn’t be one of the things she battles!
Yet she is my baby. She still naps daily when not at nursery, she still climbs on my lap for cuddles. She still suffers pain and tiredness from joints and muscles that challenge her daily. She is an inspiration. Watch out Olympics 2024!!
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