Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Today we were out for lunch and accompanied by an adorable five year old my friend was babysitting. She appeared new to being in the company of a small person like herself in a wheelchair. At first she was a little disconcerted by his coughing which he does often as dealing with secretions is an ongoing battle. She accepted my reassurances that all was well. For most of the lunch the little girl ate and played with her food and coloured with the provided book and crayons. As we were readying to go she puts the colouring book in front of H, tries to offer him the crayon and speaking softly she was telling him that he could have a turn. When it was obvious to her that H was not going to take the crayon she asked me if H was able to colour. I told her no he wasn't able but it made him happy to watch her do it.
As we walked through the parking lot this precious five year old pointed to H's chair and asked why he couldn't walk. I said his legs don't allow him to walk. I then added that his brain was unable to tell his legs to walk. The adorability factor was raised when Sweetness said "well maybe I could show him how to walk". Couldn't you just melt?
It is these huge teachable moments that I love the most as a parent of children with disabilities. Even after all these years however I have yet to come up with the best answers to the questions little people ask but I hope that by stating the facts as they are and with a positive attitude that they will carry the message no matter how poorly verbalized.
If everyone could approach people with disabilities of all ages with the same innocence and open heart just as this little girl did the world would be a much better place not just for my children but human kind in general.