Ambitions

Just read Ellen Seidman’s article on the Parents website called What will my child be when he grows up?

She quite rightly points out that although her son Max, who has cerebral palsy, has no obvious ambitions, the possibilities are huge because of advances in technology.

She cites Natasha with severe CP who has just crossed the English Channel single handed in a yacht and Steph who is now a Cross Fit trainer.

The Paralympics brought a tear to my eye as folk overcame immense challenges. When asked if he was an inspiration to young disabled athletes one champion said “I don’t know. I just want to win.”

I think it is most important for parents of disabled children to be open minded about what their child can do.

Quite often this takes a leap of faith as frightening opportunities appear. It would be so easy to say no and wrap our children back up in cotton wool.

My son Ashley is outgoing and adventurous and grabs life by the horns. When folk suggest things we bite our lip and say “OK, let him try.”

And it’s hard.

To us he is still that tiny bundle of broken baby who needs to be cuddled and looked after.

A few years ago the doctors said “when he stands….” and we looked at each with astonishment.

Now he stands, walks with a frame and can just about walk independently. He gets told off for running in school. (We like this)

He takes reasonably good photos with his ipad and can record us with his DS.

We all have potential and usually set our own limits on how much of that potential we achieve. My work is convenient and is nothing like what I could do. Ashley and the family impose limits which I truly truly don’t mind. I like my life and the bundle I have is so good.

However, when it comes to our kids, limits are a no-no. This is especially so when they face challenges such as Ashley’s.

I don’t know what he’ll achieve but I know it’s an open sky and with his courage and determination, one day he’ll fly.

Author: dderbydave

Father of three girls and a son who is disabled but doesn't let it get in his way (try youtubing "ashleyjameswood.com"). Happily married. Taught primary school for 7 years, lived in Oz for 6 years, was an Operations Manager for 5 years, chaired a PTA, now a 50-something Dad-taxi-bank-judge-cook-cleaner da-dee-da-dee-dah

3 thoughts on “Ambitions”

  1. It’s like that with all kids, disabled or not. When my first one got on the schoolbus to go to kindergarten for the first time, it was hard not to run screaming after it. “Nooo, don’t take my baby!” Now she lives in New York and takes the subway all by herself. I still worry, but I also recognize that she’s not mine to protect anymore. Same with my younger two, who are even more adventurous. The younger daughter will occasionally fill me in on “things that happened while I was traveling in Asia:” like going to this remote village in India and having the police escort her back to their station because they were afraid she would be attacked by the gangs of men wandering the streets during Holi. My son on the other hand calls me immediately after the fact: “I was hit by a car, what should I do?” (At least he’s prompt.) After his third brush with death, I started coloring my hair. Shocks of white were showing up on my head.

    Anyway. I understand what you are going through, but you should be proud. Your wife and you are raising a very strong, independent boy.

  2. Thank you for the kind words. We have three able bodied children and have gone through this when they started school. Both the older ones are becoming strong independent girls but to us they are still tiny fragile things. With disability you go deeper into the protective mode than with able bodied kids. One writer compared us to angry Rottweilers!

  3. This post is great. Tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your beautiful child with us. You make me realize how wonderful the human race is.

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