The Crusader Newspaper Group



By Pamela Ferrell

Our life changed from a quiet, private home to what felt like a clinic with an open revolving door. Doctors, nurses, and therapists were allowed into our home’s most intimate spaces. Nothing mattered but saving my baby.

I felt vulnerable but needed the endless parade of hearing, vision, occupational, speech, and physical therapists who advised us about our special baby. One developmental therapist defined her as “delayed.” I asked, “how long will she be delayed?” No one really knew the answer.

She didn’t sit up until she was two years old, rolled like a human barrel, spinning from the stomach to back; didn’t pull up until she was three, and took her first steps at four, so tiny, she was still wearing toddler shoes.

Her developmental milestones were slow and entirely unpredictable. We were all thrilled and shocked each time she did something new. This tiny tornado knocked over my expensive dining chairs and tossed whatever she could over the second-floor banister.

One evening I was socializing with guests downstairs in my living room while my husband supposedly watched her. She tossed several pairs of his cotton briefs to the floor below; they landed right in front of us. Each day, something new came flying down the stairs, including once, a full box of grits.

Eventually I created a rule that her car window had to stay up, after she twice pitched one shoe out the window.

One hot, summer day I rushed to pick my son up from camp. I parked the car and opened her door. She was wearing one shoe. The ground was too hot for her to walk barefoot so I carried her down 20 steep wood stairs, around a winding concrete road, and up three levels of concrete steps and back. It was exhausting.

There was never a dull moment as she was developing, slowly. My son was always excited as she did something new. Beaming with pride on one occasion, he said, “Mom she is throwing your dishes out the window.”

What! I looked out the window and my beautiful glass bowls and plates were all broken up on the ground. I had rigged that kitchen window for safety so it would open only about three inches. Her new abilities and milestones are still encouraging, even if they are shocking.

We are grateful for the love and laughter she gives us.

Pamela Ferrell, Author / Entrepreneur / Mom of Special Needs Child

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