Last summer ended with Bridget dancing on the beach. It was a hard fought victory for her to overcome her fear of the beach. A video I personally never tire of (sorry if you have!) watching:
Last year we never got her shoes off or for her to actually touch the sand on her own. The accomplishment was her walking on the beach (or dancing) or sitting in my lap as the waves rolled by us.
Over the fall/winter from hell/spring Bridget’s team has worked very hard to keep her fear of the beach and sand at bay. She was encouraged to play in the sandbox, with both wet and dry sand. At first she resisted but then slowly overtime she joined her friends at the sand table and placed her hand gently onto sand. Then under the sand to find treasures.
Last month we visited Assateague Island in Maryland. It was gorgeous and this happened:
Bridget jumped on the sand and when at the beach as long as she was in the waves (the BIG ones) she was content. Walking on the sand, not so much. Touching the sand, not at all. Once we had her in the ocean though, the panic was gone. Until the walk back to the car when she needed to be carried because the feel of the dry sand on her toes was too much for her to handle.
When summer finally arrived in New England last week, we headed out to the beach unsure of what to expect. We knew it would not be easy for her. We hoped it would be easier than last year and she would again be caught dancing. We thought of the beach in Maryland and thought, she can do this.
We pulled onto the beach to air down our tires and she whimpered quietly: I no like beach. As we drove onto the beach, in the back of the Jeep we heard: go home now please. It broke my heart but we knew she could overcome her fear. She has overcome everything else. We would just have to go at her pace. It started with her on my lap, then a walk down the beach where she would alternatively walk and be carried. As we arrived at our friend’s spot Bridget began panicking and she was getting heavy. Thankfully our friends had a beach mat, where Bridget was content to lay and sit as we visited.
We returned the next day and this happened:
Bridget not only walked on the sand, she went into the water to ankles and here’s the moment of her personal triumph, she sat and played!
When we left that night an exhausted Bridget was heard saying, we go beach morrow?
Maybe not tomorrow, but soon!
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart to our friends who were so patient with Bridget this weekend and her team from school who worked so carefully with her. This could not have happened with out you!