In keeping with recent trends, Ryder faced another challenge, and hopped right over it. He willingly went to gymnastics!
I know he was nervous. I know he was self-conscious. I have no doubt he would’ve rather been just about anywhere else. But he held his head high and answered questions, and then walked out onto that floor like he’d never missed a class. Obviously there’s a lot he can’t do, but he never cried or sat out. He stayed with his class and interacted with the other boys the whole time, and I couldn’t be more proud. His coaches were amazing, never paying him special attention or singling him out. When they worked on something he couldn’t do, they put him to work holding feet for sit-ups, or counting reps. And Evan is the cutest little cheerleader for his big brother. He LOVES being in the “big boy” class, and is really proud of Ryder too.There’s definitely an element of mourning wrapped up in all this. On one hand, it’s devastating to know how badly he wants things to be the way they were before… we all do! But on the other hand, it’s a miracle he’s even doing as much as he’s doing, and with so much confidence and positivity. And it’s amazing to watch him handle this crazy journey with maturity and integrity and courage.
This may sound crazy, but there are days when I fear that by posting these victories I’m providing false information… that y’all will think he’s healed and won’t feel the need to pray anymore. But the truth is, we still need your prayers – every moment of every day. He has come a long way and our days feel relatively normal, all things considered. But we still can’t see the finish line.
Thank you to all of you… the texts, emails, visits, hand-drawn pictures, dog walks, meals, and prayers. Please don’t stop praying – it’s truly our best weapon!