This past weekend I sent the three big kids outside to play while Mike shoveled the driveway for the eight millionth time this winter (when is spring?!). I am embarrassed to admit it, but I don't often take Charlotte out to play in the snow. For a variety of reasons, the first being, it is so much dang work for me (never really sure what to do with Jack...pretty sure he would not be a happy camper bundled up sitting in a snow bank) and for her , in addition to the fact that I am really not a fan of cold weather. She has gone outside a few times at school, however, with the frigid temperatures we have been experiencing, even those experiences have been limited.
Gross motor skills continue to be hard for Charlotte. Her low tone is even more magnified when doing activities on uneven ground. Dress her up in tons of snow gear and throw in some icy spots and you have Charlotte's biggest gross motor nightmare. However, all of that aside, it is very good for her to experience it and a great opportunity to build muscle tone as well....so, we try. I figured even ten minutes outside would do her some good.
I stayed inside with Jack, with a good view from the kitchen window as they trekked out to play in the backyard. At first, it was really hard to watch. Charlotte was attempting to make her way through the mountain of snow in the backyard towards the swing set. She would stand up, take two steps and then fall. Stand up, take two steps, and fall. Repeat...over and over. I was frustrated for her. Times like these make me so mad at that extra chromosome; sometimes it doesn't seem fair that she has to work so hard to do what typical 3 year-olds can do without even thinking about it.
She didn't seem upset by the situation, but rather just kept getting up and starting over. Then, Will turned around and realized that Charlotte was struggling, went back and stood next to her and proceeded to "fall" in the snow each time she did. Soon, they were belly laughing each time they fell. Katherine, who was already out to the swing set, saw what was happening and went back to join them. After a few more falls, Katherine and Will each took one of Charlotte's hands and helped her walk through the foot of icy snow to the swing set. Charlotte climbed up and went down the slide, and then I watched as Katherine helped her get on the swing and proceeded to give her a few big pushes.
I shed a few tears. Watching this situation (while snapping a few pictures out the patio door :)) made my heart swell a bit. My frustrations quickly left, and I was filled with a whole boatload of mommy pride. Katherine and Will, each in their own way, have already shown more empathy and understanding then a lot of adults in this world.
All of my kids will struggle at some point in their lives. I am sure it is hard for any parent to watch; I don't like to see my kids frustrated, especially Charlotte. I feel she has already faced so much in her short 3.5 years on this earth, I want something to be easy for her. However, when I step back, I realize that I am the one frustrated, not Charlotte. She keeps trekking ahead, with a little help from her web.
Happy Tuesday. Stay Warm, the polar vortex has returned.