I carry Ronan on my back. Sometimes, it's because he's too tired to walk. Sometimes it's because he isn't too tired yet, but he would be by the time we got to our destination. Other times it's because where we're going is such a short distance, it doesn't make sense to take out the bulky, adaptive stroller. He'd be in it and then out of it so quickly.
I don't mind giving Ronan a piggy back ride. I don't do it all the time, but the times it happens, other people think I shouldn't do it. They have great reasons for me not to. It's stressful for my back. It's sometimes painful for me, too. And there are other ways, like using the stroller, to get Ronan from point A to point B. But sometimes piggy back rides are the fastest and easiest mode of transportation.
One of the first times I wrote about needing to get Ronan on my back to get him home - after what turned into a disaster of an afternoon - happened a few years ago. We've had our fair share of those sad afternoons since then. Days when Ronan refuses to budge, days when he cannot communicate, days when he's refusing to take one step more with me. Even though I've tried everything to help him, those days feel very unsuccessful.
Those days are tough, but thankfully we also have our fair share of pleasant, happy afternoons. Like last week, when Ronan could've walked into the gymnasium but signed for me to help him.
Even though he could walk...
Even though he wasn't too tired yet...
Even though he knew the routine and the expectations well...
...he reached up, he looked right at me, and he signed for me to lift him up. So I did. I scooped him up and put him on my back. Instantly, Ronan relaxed and rested his head on my shoulder. He kept it there for a few minutes then rearranged himself so that he could rest his head on my other shoulder.
Ronan struggles with so much, so on days that he needs me, I do as much as I can to reassure him that Mommy is right there ready to help even if it becomes backbreaking work for me. If it's to get him a snack, to switch out a movie, to turn on a DVD, or to get him from point A to point B via piggyback, I am ready to help. In those peaceful, restful moments, he clings to me. He clings to me for help and I to him knowing that he'll show me the way.