“Well that wasn’t very smart” was my husband’s first response when I texted him the picture of our daughter’s very muddy and torn trouser bottom.

After fiercely defending my own judgment at “letting” her clothes get this way, he came to appreciate that it wasn’t such a dumb thing to do after all.

You see, Brielle cannot walk.

She has this adorable method of scooting on her bottom from A to B.

She has low-tone cerebral palsy, and she’s also deafblind.

So letting her get down from her wheelchair to explore the great outdoors is essential. 

For her pleasure, for her learning, for play.

Touch is her most reliable sense, so for her to be able to feel and explore her surroundings is vital.

As she can’t see very much, she really needs to tactilely experience the world around her to gain understanding and make sense of things.

On this particular day, we were out playing with new friends in a wooded park with lots of bark.

The older kids were running around shouting and having fun and Brielle was just not content to be pushed in her wheelchair.

She could sense we were somewhere new and exciting, and wanted to experience it first-hand. 

To touch and taste the bark, and to scoot as far away from me as she could! 

To see her emerging independence, her sense of adventure and fear of nothing, was a balm to this mother’s heart. 

Brielle is not easy on her trouser bottoms.

I’ve patched some of them with leather and duck cloth, cute heart-shaped patches on her bottom.

These eventually rip too, but they do the job for awhile.

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