Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Back in the Saddle

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Noah Riding Lightning
It's been almost a year since Noah rode a horse in hippotherapy.  We were forced into a break when his last therapist resigned and left us without a Saturday spot after years of being on a horse.   It would have been a difficult drive to follow his therapist to her home and there was no covered shelter for Noah which would have proved to be hard with the unpredictable hot and cold weather we often have here.   We were hoping that we'd find another Saturday spot with a new therapist eventually, but all remaining therapists remained Monday through Friday spots only.  And I wasn't sure I could book up Noah's week anymore than I have.  But the little mother voice said it's time for Noah to get back to hippotherapy.  I knew he missed it, as it became something he genuinely loved to do, and it brought about so much more head, neck and trunk control.  So doubling up on therapies during each day is the decision we made to be able to incorporate it back into Noah's routine.

Although I was familiar with the center from previous years of therapy, some things had changed; new carpet and a redecorated lobby with more tables, chairs and even a playhouse barn.  The same - yet different.   A new therapist I had never met.  You have feelings like will she like my child?  Will they believe in him?  Will they love him?  Insecurities that aren't supposed to cross your mind, but somehow always do when you know you have a child as severely disabled and challenged as Noah is.  There was even a new program coordinator since we last did therapy, so everyone was new and unfamiliar.  All we had was Lightning - the horse that Noah had grown a bond with.   The horse I still think sleepwalks - but Noah loves him.  An old friendship those two. 

Noah did his 1/2 hour of therapy.  They were rather in the distance due to another class in the arena.  I couldn't hear Noah over the cries of another child to know if he was doing okay.  Part of me was relieved another child was actually having difficulties.  Although clearly stressful for the mother, she had no idea that her child's discomfort made me feel like I wasn't the only one who has been there.  I did my best to watch Noah from afar, he looked content in the distance.

When the therapist carried Noah back to me and placed him in my arms I braced myself for the worst.  It's so terrible that I've grown to expect the bad news before any good.  I wish I wasn't that way, I think it's become my coping mechanism so that I don't set myself up for heartache and disappointment.  So I was so shocked when the first words she said were "He is such a joy."  Wow.  Good news she loved my little Noah.  Phew.   Nothing bad like boy he can't stop moving or he's so floppy he looks like a disaster on a horse.... all the things you know someone could say to you and didn't. 

Relief in my core and in my heart.  It went well.

We were almost out the door when the new program coordinator followed us out to meet us.  That was really so nice and made me feel like not only were we welcomed again with open arms but that we were genuinely missed.  I loved that feeling.  Like you were somehow going back to a great place of love.   So Noah is in the saddle again, and I hope he has many more wonderful and healing adventures with Lightning to come.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.