It is over three years since Libby-Sue came out of spica cast following surgery for her undetected hip dysplasia.
It has been just under two and a half years since she learnt to walk for the second time.
She started to run two years ago, albeit with a wobble.
We stopped physiotherapy eighteen months ago.
Her limp started to fade into nonexistence about nine months ago.
As of three months ago, we were told we would only need x-rays every two years because her hip is developing so well.
I feel like I am finally turning a corner, where I see a future for Libby-Sue that doesn’t involve more surgery. It looks more like a possibility rather than a miracle.
It feels good.
But still, once you have had a child with mobility issues, who has faced a surgeon’s knife so young in years. You learn to appreciate the little things they do, that little bit more.
Etched in my memory is the day she first walked to the shop at the end of the road on her own, muttering ‘I can do it’ as she planted one foot in front of the other. The day she managed to nudge the scooter forward a tiny bit was pretty emotional too.
The first day she sat cross legged in class, without realising she had not been able to do so before.
Her first dance recital. When she stepped out on stage, beautiful adorned in blue, with eye shadow covering her innocent features, pink little ballet shoes wrapping round her tiny toes. I wanted to run to the judge, who had no idea of her past. I wanted to shout in crowd, that my child was amazing, that she had struggled to walk less than a year before and now she was twirling on stage like a tiny baby elephant.
When she stopped mid dance, just to search for me in the crowd, to raise a small hand in order to wave furiously, my heart filled as did my eyes.
When you see your child wrapped in cast from chest to toe, you dare not ever believe that one day they will dance. But dance she did and she is still dancing, less like a little elephant and more like a fairy.
This week, Libby-Sue did her first cartwheel, straight legged, and landed on the affected hip. She finished with a flourish, arms flung to the sky.
For me, the tears rose again, the memory of DDH still lingering.
It is Sport’s Day next week, I don’t expect to make it through without a sob.
But it will be the weep of the happy, for my amazingly brave little girl.