Thursday, April 29, 2010

So What!

 Look at this boy, does he look unhappy to you?  Does it appear to you that he has a poor quality of life?  Do you look at him with his leg braces, his forearm crutches, his walker, or his wheelchair and think "That poor boy, how awful that must be?"  Or do you look at Glenn and I and think, "They must really be struggling, I bet it is so hard to have a child that uses a wheelchair?"  Do you look at Caleb and assume that he is cognitively lacking?  Do you feel sorry for him?  Do you feel sorry for me?

I've got some things on my mind and I'm going to use my blog as an opportunity to get on my soap box and do a little preaching.  I got used to people staring at Caleb a long time ago, but what I can't get used to is the look in the eyes of the people that stare.  They look sad.  Like they can't imagine what it must be like to have a child that uses a wheelchair, or a walker, or whatever.  They wonder "what's WRONG" with him.  Let me clear something up, there is nothing wrong with Caleb.  Yes, he has Spina Bifida, so what!  Yes he uses a wheelchair, so what!  Yes he has to wear leg braces and use a walker, so what!  I'm sick of this negative attitude towards people that use wheelchairs.  I'm sick of the phrase "wheelchair bound" or "confined to a wheelchair".  That makes it sound like a wheelchair is some sort of trap, something horrifying.  Like using a wheelchair is the worst possible thing that can happen to a person.  That wheelchair is the best thing that ever happened to Caleb.  It improves his quality of life, it gives him independence, freedom, confidence.  My goal as a mother, is to make sure my kids feel good in their own skin.  I want both my boys to feel great about who they are.  Because they are great.  All children should feel good about themselves, period.  Caleb is happy in his own skin, he isn't sad about his life.  He has no reason to be sad and neither do I.  I don't mourn the fact that he isn't running like other kids.  I don't cry every time I put him in his wheelchair or put his leg braces on.  My heart is not sad.  He is an amazing child and a tremendous blessing.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Period.

On another you like the new look on the blog?  I do love my little monkeys!


Jill said...

I do love monkeys! :)

Great perspective. I hate 'suffers from Spina Bifida' as well. My little man isn't suffering from anything!

Jill said...

I do love monkeys!

Great perspective. I hate 'suffers from Spina Bifida' as well. My little man isn't suffering!

Colleen said...

Oh yeah, he sure looks miserable with that huge smile on his face! Good post!

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