When I first met Mattie she was four months old, and I had no idea what I was in for…
At the beginning, Jess and Jim discussed with me the unknowns and the concern of what Mattie’s future would be. There was no roadmap as to what progress could be expected, what milestones would be reached, or how Mattie’s journey would unfold.
From the information presented to me I tried to understand what challenges not only Mattie would face, but Jess and Jim as well.
I’ve worked with Mattie and her family for a year now, and as with all children it seems it has just flown by. In that short time I have seen so many changes in her. She seems more comfortable in her own body. She is curious and playful. She laughs constantly and for some reason thinks it’s hilarious when she (or anyone else for that matter) sneezes. Mattie can roll, hold herself up on her hands and knees, and has more control of her head and upper body. She even took steps in one of her occupational therapy sessions! Assisted steps now, but what does her future hold?
I can hardly imagine the struggle Jim and Jess have when trying to choose what the “right” thing for Mattie is. There are so many options, so many different ways of thinking when it comes to treatment and therapy for her. I can only hope they find some comfort in the “little things” that everyone around Mattie gets to see everyday and have confidence that they are on the right track.
Although I am not a parent, my previous childcare experience exposed me to the cognitive and physical motor skills that develop on a rather expected course. Mattie is on her own schedule, and that assures one thing. Nothing Mattie does will be expected. No milestone will be overlooked, and everything she accomplishes will be extraordinary.
So like I said before, I had no idea what I was in for. On my first interview, when Jess and Jim first described Mattie and her journey, which had really just begun, I knew I was up for the care Mattie needed, but I never knew I would gain so much by just being a part of her life. “Hope for Mattie” could not be a more fitting title. I have nothing but hope for her. Hope that she will continue to learn, continue to laugh, and continue to improve. Also I truly hope one day Mattie comes to realize and appreciate the continuous outpouring of love and support that comes not only from her parents, but her entire family, and really anyone who meets her. (Come on, how you could not love that FACE!?)
So if you asked me what it’s like to work with Mattie? It’s nothing short of inspiring. Mattie’s story is just beginning, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I feel blessed to be able to share in the joy that comes from everything she does.