Monday, October 29, 2001

Hop to it

I'd like to announce with pride that my son, at age 8.5, has finally mastered a major gross-motor developmental milestone:

He can hop.

He can't do it gracefully. He flaps his arms and hunches his body over and generally looks like he's doing some variation on the Funky Chicken. But one foot's on the floor and one foot's in the air and there's a little loft, and I call that hopping.

He can only do it once or twice without having to hold on to something, but that's a major improvement over past performances. Previously, when his pediatric neurologist would ask him to hop, he would oh-so-casually reach out and touch something, in the hope that she wouldn't notice he needed a little concrete support. She always did. Maybe, by the time we visit her next year, he'll be able to do three or four without grabbing hold. Maybe five. The sky's the limit here. Can skipping be far behind?

We have to focus so much, as special-needs parents, on the milestones missed, the distance from the bottom of the chart, the lags and delays. But that only makes it so much sweeter when one of those long-empty boxes gets checked. Hopping means way more at 8 than it would have at a developmentally appropriate age.

It's nice, every now and then, to be reminded of that.

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