Walk When You Are Ready

Frankie just turned 19 months.

Some of the best advice was given to me by my Dad. He told me, “never gift unwarranted advice.”

It starts when you are pregnant. Like really showing.

“Oh! Congratulations! Is it a boy or a girl?” Oh thank you. We are having a girl.

“Wow you are going to have your hands full.” “Make sure to breast feed for sure. Also get this… do this… oh don’t get that… stay away from this… definitely want this… eat this…”

Now I am not writing this to sound like a nag in any way. I got some very valuable advice along the way. Usually when I asked for it. Some when I didn’t.

But let’s just put it out there. NO OTHER KID IS YOUR KID. What works for someone doesn’t work for your kid. Especially in the world of PKU. We are on a very different axis right now. Our world might be a little bit more tilted in some ways and maybe a little bit more balanced in others.

My daughter just took her first three steps. I burst into tears of joy and ran in to tell my resting husband. He had just had shoulder surgery and was in bed. He was overjoyed and we were so excited for her achievement.

We have gone through so much pain the last few months of listening to people say, over and over again, “She’s not walking yet?!” Loudly, upset sometimes, sadly, joking, the list goes on and on.” Then poured in the advice, “Do this, try this, do that.”

It has been unbelievable. We’ve watched on Facebook feed friends with babies that started walking at 10 months on. Some nights I would cry watching other friends of mine over joyed at their child walking or running around they’re living room 7 months younger than my daughter. Mike would say, “Don’t watch it if you are going to get upset.”

But the truth was I was getting upset. Because people were becoming a little aggressive about it. Thrusting their opinions as to why Frankie wouldn’t walk. One friend of mine said its because Frankie gets blood tests done from her feet. So maybe her feet hurt to walk on. That’s a moment where I lost it at home. Couldn’t stop crying. Then I realized that Frankie stands up all the time so that couldn’t be why she wasn’t walking.

It’s shocking the way some people will behave around your daughter. We decided to block it all out like WHITE NOISE. We listened to ourselves and our pediatrician who said, “She will walk when she is ready.”  When people started to comment, we would just smile and nod.

Then the other night Frankie looked at me and took three steps toward me with a huge smile on her face.

It was absolute perfection. All these months washed away of other peoples opinions and I couldn’t be a prouder Mother of my daughter. She has been through so much and has the biggest smile on her face every single day. And this last week she decided it was time to start walking.

Frankie my darling girl… I am so looking forward to walking by your side through this crazy journey called life. Don’t listen to what anyone else says. We love you and are with you always. Someone at some point will tell you that you can’t have what you want in life.

Well Frankie, you can. You can have anything you want in life. You just have to have the courage to fight for it. Until that day. We will fight for you.

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