I don’t know if you’ll ever remember this time in your life. We’ve been talking to you about what’s going to happen when we travel to St. Louis for your Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery. We’ve glossed over a lot of what is going to happen (you’re only 3, afterall) but you know that we’re going to St. Louis so Dr. Park can fix your legs and help you learn to walk without your walker. When we prompt you, you let us know that sure, you’re excited to learn to walk, but most of all, you’re excited about staying in the hotel and wondering whether the TV remote will work or not (during our last trip, the remote didn’t work in our room).
It feels surreal to know that we are hours away from a procedure that will totally change the course of your life. I can’t wait for you to have an improved quality of life and to free your legs from the tightness they feel day in and day out. I wonder if there will come a time that you don’t remember what it felt like to have these tight legs? I can’t wait to see you sit comfortably with your legs straight in front of you. I can’t wait for you to be able to take control of your body and wiggle your toes if you want. And yes, those first independent steps are what all parents dream of, except the anticipation has been building for years in my case. Most of all, I’m anxious for you to not have to work so damn hard at what comes so easily to most of us. There isn’t a worse feeling than when I watch you collapse to your knees after an extended period in your walker. It’s like your legs physically can’t move another inch and it can be so heartbreaking. I’ve been wanting to take this hardship from you since the moment you were diagnosed and now, I feel like we have a shot at making your life a heck of a lot better. You deserve it, kiddo.
Don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I can’t think of a better kid for the task. You are hardworking and attentive but also silly and very affectionate. Barely a day goes by when you aren’t complimented on that huge smile of yours and as cliché as it might sound…. you really do light up a room with that face. You are so much more than your cerebral palsy and I hope this procedure allows you to be your very best self at age3 and 93 and all the years in between. We love you so much Caleb and we’ll be by your side every step of the way.
Love you forever,
Mommy, Daddy, Wyatt and Baby Parker
P.S. GO CALEB GO!