Recently I was attempting to plant my vegetable garden when Abby “informed” me that she and Bridget were going to take a walk. Um, what?
“We are bored, so we are going to see the neighbor’s sheep”.
Again, I paused.
When did they get old enough to go for a walk, I thought?
More importantly, when did Bridget suddenly become trusted not to run off into the great unknown?
It was then that I realized I had been working in the yard most of the day. Bridget had been outside with me and never once ran off. I didn’t have to chase her. Okay, other than when she was stealing my wheel barrel and running off with it. The morning had been amazing. She had even tried to help at one point. Until, well there was dirt involved and it got into her shoes. After that she supervised. She went in and out of the garage to get a ball, independently. More importantly, when I went into the garage I immediately heard her say, “Mom where are you?”
At this moment in time, Bridget was completely aware of her surroundings and most importantly her boundaries.
Then this happened:
“Mom, I go see ‘Ruca sheep with Abby?”
Holy crap…Bridget (with intention) used a full sentence and asked to do something. Bridget frequently asks for food or to go to the pool, but those tend to be boredom and/or just a repetitive phrase that is heard 500 times a day.
Kind of in shock, I said yes. I made sure Bridget’s Lo-Jack was working and that Abby had a phone on her for an emergency search and rescue if needed. I watched my girls walk through the back yard and into the woods holding hands. They were talking about what they were about to do and see.
They were two sisters out for a walk.
Just when I was getting worried about the amount of time that had passed, I heard Bridget’s excited chatter. She ran up to me and told me all about the walk. How Abby had fallen off the rock they climbed, how Abby jumped off of a tree, how the ‘Ruca sheep were funny and the goats were loud. They went for a “long walk” she told me.
Three unexpected milestones in one day:
- Bridget asked me to do something with her sister.
- Bridget could be trusted to go on a walk with her sister and not run away.
- Bridget, with total recall, tell me what they had done on their walk.
But wait, there’s more.
The following weekend Bridget and I went out for pancakes (her favorite) with a friend. Bridget told our friend about the walk in the woods to see the goats and sheep. The story was a little embellished (I am pretty positive that the goats did not eat her pancakes). However, Bridget told our friend that she and Abby went for a walk to the sheep. That Abby fell down while rock climbing (even acted it out) and that she had “so much fun”.
Holy freaking trifecta: Bridget asked to do something, did it appropriately and then was able to relate the story to another adult who understood what she was saying.
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: It’s these unexpected milestones that make us continue to push Bridget to be all she can be and never give up hope.
The sky is the limit!