She's learning how to walk with crutches. She's learning what it's like to have a disadvantage in this society. She's learning how to cope with discomfort and frustration. She's learning what it's like to look different. She's learning how good it feels to do for herself even if it's very hard.
Sydney is learning how it feels to have something bad happen to the person with whom she identifies the most closely. She's learning how to do things independently. She's learning that we must always give the majority of our attention to those who need it the most. She's learning to be a real help to her sister. She's learning how to cope with her own fears and frustrations. She, too, is learning how to walk on crutches.
As for me, I'm remembering what it was like to have a baby in the house. I'm remembering to shut and latch the door to the basement stairs. I'm remembering that showers must be taken during lulls and must be as short as possible in order to occur as much as possible between emergencies. I'm carrying my 40+-pound kid plus her leg cast up and down steps and lifting her onto beds and couches and into carseats. I'm moderating my walking pace to be even with her, to not look like I'm waiting to catch her when she falls, and to still catch her when she falls. I'm deliberately not running to her when she does fall, deliberately not helping her up, but watching as she learns how to do it herself.
That's the hardest part, I'm learning: watching them fall.