This is a picture of Mattix when I dropped him off at school earlier in the week.
Weeks ago, his teachers had told us he was determined to make it across the monkey bars. He did. And he wanted to show me.
I was so proud. I had tears in my eyes on the school playground. My not-so-baby baby, swinging across all of those bars, concentrating fiercely, pushing himself.
He’s like that — determined.
When he sets his mind to something, he doesn’t quit until he achieves it. He and I don’t share blood, but we share a lot of characteristics. Only his are pretty hardcore for a 5-year-old.
He has wanted to swing from the monkey bars for a long time. I can recall taking him to the park at 3 years old. I’d lift him up. He’d hang for just a second. Then he’d yell for me to grab him before he fell.
One of the many “deficits” Mattix had as a result of being in an orphanage was poor grip strength. Poor is an understatement. When Molley was just 15 months or so, she could hang and support her body weight. Mattix, 18 months older than her, couldn’t hold on at all.
We worked on those things organically and with physical therapy (and occupational therapy for other issues). But those monkey bars… they were tough.
And then one day at school, he decided he was doing it. By the end of the week, my little man – who previously couldn’t get from even the first to the second – could make his way across all 10 bars, just like that.
I’m so proud of him. In the past 6 weeks, we celebrated his four year referral anniversary. We celebrated his 5th birthday. We struggled in some areas, excelled in others. I’ve wanted to start writing here again often, yet I can’t seem to do it. But not for good reason. It just takes a tiny bit of determination to open up the page and begin writing. And it certainly takes a lot less than it took Mattix to cross those monkey bars. If he can do it, so can I.