One year ago I didn't believe it was going to be possible. He refused to balance his weight on it. He always invented a way around using it. He found some other way to support his entire body's weight. He'd rely upon his left foot, never his right.
When he was born we called it his lucky foot because clubbed foot sounded too ugly. It conjured a picture of a square, non-useable wooden thing. His foot was the same soft baby skin as the rest of his body. There was no square, monster like shape and there were definitely no splinters. As an infant we tucked it in a blanket and didn't think about it.
Until the weekly doctor visits, that began when he was two weeks old. The weekly casting to gradually move it in the right direction. The weekly unrolling of the endless layers of his cast. The five minute baths so we could get to the doctor's office, leaving his foot uncast for no more than a half hour each week.
And at three months, I handed my tiny baby to a doctor and walked out of the room. The operation to cut his Achilles Tendon. The necessary step to loosen the hold it had on his entire foot. The cut that would release the curl it wanted to make. It was the longest ten minutes I have experienced.
Then more casting. From the casting we moved to the Dennis Brown Bar. A horrible contraption he was sentenced to wear at exactly the moment he learned to kick his legs up, sending the metal rod separating his feet, flying into his soft baby skull.
We endured the looks and the comments. "Who broke that poor baby's leg?" The nerve and ignorance of people still makes me knot up internally.
I just wanted my baby to be comfortable. And happy.
But he came into the world with a lucky foot.
For three years it defined much of our life. The frequent doctor visits. The worries. The brace following the bar. Hoping he could stand. Holding my breath for his first steps. Willing his toes to release the tight curl they met the world with. Knowing his right leg would always be smaller, less developed than his left. Watching for the regression they said would be possible. Buying shoes knowing one was too big, no matter what size we chose.
And then today. I witnessed it. Not only did he stand on it, he kicked. Twice. Without touching down. His entire 30 pound frame supported by one lucky foot.
And with that, the weight that has rested upon my chest was lifted. I snapped one shot from my lap without looking through the lens and knew I'd taken my photo of the day.