When Ellie was in the NICU, I received a call from a wonderful woman in our community who has a son with Down Syndrome. She was a beacon of hope in the depth of a storm. I vividly remember her telling me that her son had just graduated physical therapy, a goal that seemed very far away for us at that time. Yesterday Ellie graduated from physical therapy. We have been receiving home visits from our physical therapist since Ellie was a month old. I knew walking was the main stepping stone, the goal for releasing us from physical therapy. On Wednesday our therapist arrived, and Ellie walked across the whole house just to see her. She looked at me and we knew, it was time to move on from home visits. We have been invited to join the walking physical therapy group that meets every Friday, where we will see our physical therapists and work on jumping and stairs. But as we discussed Ellie’s success it has been determined that home visits are no longer needed. Bitter sweet on many levels. I am so proud of Ellie, this is a huge accomplishment placing her in the typical realm physically, but I will miss our visits from our friend. We still have occupational therapy, speech therapy, and a developmental specialist, but this feels like a big step. A step towards growing up for Ellie, an actual step in the best direction. I can’t help but picture myself 18 months ago not even knowing our physical therapist. Meeting her when I was tired and scared, before heart surgery, as she teached me how to help my child succeed. A graduation is always sort of about the mixing of past and present, a release of ourselves, allowing a movement forward. I am so proud of this girl. Happy graduation Ellie!