Now let's take a moment to say farewell to the 45-degree angle in Elijah's knee joints. For those of you who don't know, he'll undergo a major surgery next week. Although it's technically elective, it's the very definition of invasive. Our goal is to straighten the knees, giving him one long limb from hip to ankle. This is the last big surgery needed to allow Eli to walk. Melissa tells people he could walk by Christmas, and it literally blows my mind, and I have to sit down. There's just so much hard work ahead for him. Please pray for Elijah on Wednesday morning, July 21, starting around 7:00 a.m.
I know it sounds odd that we would miss these bent knees -- with no cartiledge or growth plates around the patellas, he's never been able to bend them -- but Elijah has learned to do so much with them. For instance:
- He can sit in the sink, because his legs fit.
- He can climb up the stairs. He can climb down the stairs.
- He can crawl on his knees just like other kids.
- He can stand on his knees and reach up onto the furniture and some chairs.
- Most importantly, his knees have frozen his legs in the "criss-cross" style that so many of us take for granted. This is how he learned to stay sitting, to raise into a sitting position, and everything he now knows about balance. I've often marveled at the fact that, while his underdeveloped inner ears may cause him problems with his equilibrium, his amazing leg structure has allowed him to compensate as quickly as needed. It's possible he'd still be lying on his side if not for these knees.
Still, there's no doubt this is the right thing to do. Elijah is ready to walk long distances, and he certainly does try. This week he demanded we allow him to scootch from his classroom to the school's front door on his own power. But he must either crawl, scoot on his bottom (causing a lot of friction on the underside of his legs; the callouses are profound) or hop in the air using all the strength in his thighs. It's time to give him the legs he deserves.
Despite how unfair all this is, it's a genuinely great thing to have a son I can call my hero.
P.S. It's time again for Mini-Laps, the Little Lighthouse fundraiser. We'll make a more formal request for your help, but don't wait to donate if you intend to. Small gifts mean a lot, and it's important that you tell your friends about Eli and what the Lighthouse has done for him. Donate at: www.littlelighthouse.org