This week, June was fit for a Meerkat stander to help her be weight bearing in a standing position. The Meerkat is an intense looking contraption, resembling a restraint that might have been used in late 1800’s crazy houses.
June stood tall and proud as her physical therapist, Katie, directed her posture and the Meerkat sales rep fiddled with the fourteen gazilion adjustments. I was very impressed with the Meerkat and I am hopeful that June will benefit greatly from it. It offers the ability to change positions that will challenge her to work important core and leg muscles as she grows.
As I stood and watched Juniper standing there, in aided defiance of the laws of gravity, I pondered our intervention. It’s funny how we humans do everything possible to mold the world into what we think it should be. I will soon have ropes and straps holding both trees in the yard and my daughter perfectly upright.
Maybe this drive comes from a primitive source - the same need that we have when we need to fend off a bear attack. Or, maybe it’s from something for more dangerous - the desire to be dominant and superior.
As a parent of a special needs child, I deal with a constant mental juggling act: Am I doing this for Juniper, for myself or for our society.
On this day, as I looked at June standing perfectly erect and vertical in the Meerkat, I shook those thoughts. I knew this one was for her.
June will benefit from standing because it will help her walk and she will benefit from walking because it will help her find freedom. That is the key for me in solving the mystery of each decision: Will this help June be more free? If so, it’s the right thing to do. I can’t make her happy, but I can help her be free to find her own happiness.
Coley and I are super excited about the Meerkat. It’s wonderful to see people creating things to help others.
I asked the sales rep if they had a Meerkat with a remote control. He looked at me like I was joking. I was serious. He informed me that they couldn’t do that due to liability and insurance. When are we going to break down all of these barriers and just help one another in any way we can? I have plenty to say about insurance and liability...but I’ll save that for another post.