She’s in love with an older man.
Is she ever.
Merci set her sights on a lofty goal. The dreamy Luke.
Luke is the younger brother of McKenna’s duet partner from her competition days. Luke also dances and he is the darling of the dance crew.
Merci nursed a secret crush on Luke through many a dance performance.
And it turns out that Luke is made of magic. Because he took notice of Merci. And hauled her around the pool. And talked to her. And played.
And got her to work more diligently on her left hand. And got her to work harder to swim. And made her feel oh so special.
We really like that Luke around here.
It reminds me again that while, yes, the formal therapy we do with Merci for her stroke recovery is so important, it’s also SO critical to have an environment of friends around her who remind her of her goals and make therapy items feel more like play. And it doesn’t hurt to have a raging crush on the person who is making you work hard to strengthen your left side.
Luke is a master at pushing Merci to new levels. Merci has long been terrified in the pool because her buoyancy in the water makes her left side weakness more pronounced. My running partner Jessica got Merci to finally be comfortable in the water, to be okay with putting her face in. And Luke has gotten her to jump in, to go down the slide, to jump with him off a higher platform.
I’m actually stunned at how brave Merci will be for him.
And Luke has come up with something else that’s pretty genius. He asks Merci to do these tougher physical things that take courage. And then he has her ‘pinkie promise’, but she has to extend and use her left pinkie.
She does it. She makes the pinkie promise, a la left hand. And then she tries really hard to do what she has pinkie promised to do.
That’s the moral to this May-December love story. Yes, pursue those professionals who can coach and guide and advocate for your kiddos, no matter the issue you are working on.
And then inventory your extended world of family and friends. Because sometimes, just sometimes, a little puppy love can microwave a bag of therapeutic goals into full glory.