Many times I carried my son into the store until he was too big to put in a cart. It was easier than trying to guide him with his wheelchair, a baby, and push a cart. One on of these trips, I parked in the handicap parking spot (I had a pass) and carried my six year old son into the store to pick up some milk. A man came up to me and told me I had no right to park there and I should “put my kid down and let him walk into the store”. I told him nothing else would give me more pleasure and the day my son could walk, we would park at the back of the parking lot.
(This photo was taken just after I picked him up when a wave from a waterpark ride knocked him completely over wheelchair and all. We laughed so hard. Don’t be afraid to let your child be a child. It’s so easy to take life too seriously.)
We were in a department store. My son was in a stroller – he was 4 years old. I was looking at clothing when a woman pointed my son out to her child and told him if he didn’t start behaving, she would put him in a stroller just like that naughty child pointing to my son. I calmly informed her (although I wasn’t feeling very calm) that my child was very well behaved, but could not walk and I walked away.
We were out on Halloween night when a woman looked directly at my son and asked him, “What’s wrong with you?” He looked at her equally confused and said “Nothing.” He was truly confused by the question. He just knows he needs to do some things differently than others.
A woman approached my son and asked him what was wrong with him. Well my son had heard the explanation many times over in the past, and without missing a beat, he looked at her and said, “I have brain damage” and wheeled away from her. I wanted to laugh out loud, he was so matter of fact and bored by the question.
A mother whose child was recently diagnosed asked me if I cry all the time. I told her eventually it will subside and she will come to terms with the disability and be the advocate that her child needs. Do I still cry? Sometimes. When a big event takes place that effects my son’s health or a difficult situation come along, it will hit me how unfair life can be. But I can safely say these thoughts will occur less and less as time goes on. Remember you need to be strong for your child.