I was told that to become a good writer, you need to write about not just the things that come easily to you, but the hard stuff too. The things that scare you. The things that make you cry. So, that’s what I’m here to do today.
This post has been in my heart and mind for many months now, bumping around, forming itself into something that is now telling me it’s time. It’s time to let it out there and hope that in doing so it will encourage someone else.
Everyone, meet Little Jolly Rancher. Aptly nicknamed by an uncle that got it right. He is always happy, and sticky, just like a Jolly Rancher. He is a joy in his laughter and his smile that starts in his eyes and moves out to encompass his whole being. Full of energy and never sitting still like every little boy is supposed to be, he loves to be in the thick of it all, especially when his siblings and other kids are present. He reminds me daily how to embrace every happy moment that comes along and shows me how to not let the little things get me down. He is the embodiment of the word try. He is my joy and constant source of laughter, and he has Cerebral Palsey.
I don’t say that out-loud. Ever.
Why? Because yes, he has a severe muscle delay which means he can’t walk or talk yet, but that is not who he is. He is not a disability. He is a little boy who has been given a big hurdle to cross, but it is not his future. I do not want him growing up and being held back, or worse, holding himself back, because of a label.
His CP is a reason why some things are the way they are, but it will never be an excuse. That is why I never say it out-loud. Even when we are approached with the question. It seems innocent enough, but it is always asked after a stranger has been observing Jolly Rancher and noticed some of his quirks. They will come and ask how old he is. Simple enough, but the fact that they never ask about the other kids is what gives it away. I always respond the same way, a smile, his age, and…nothing else. In response you receive the vague “oh”, followed by an awkward silence where the mental questions and responses swirl around in the air between you but never get spoken. Even though the quick explanation of “he has CP” is right there waiting to be said, I don’t allow myself to go that far.
As parents, we want to explain why things are the way they are, because we don’t want someone to think bad things about our kids when they throw a fit or don’t respond to a question or simply just ignore you. That one little phrase, he has CP, could make things easier I suppose. In this case though, I like to think I am doing the right thing by keeping his future open to all possibilities. I never want him to think for one second that he himself can use it as an excuse to not give his all. He has big things in his future and we are doing everything we can to make sure a silly little label can’t stand in his way.
There are so many things that I could go into on this subject but I am going to stop for now. I need to sit back, have a cup of tea, and say another prayer that putting this out there is going to help someone, because like I said, it is not something I just casually talk about. Thank you for letting me ramble.
Love from here,