Howdy…I’m being funny. I’m from NY, you know. How are you? So, I want to talk today about encouraging others. People say things all the time, “Great job, buddy,” “You really think on your toes,” and so on. What about kids? You over exaggerate encouragement (with good reason) on them, right?
But what about the disabled (crip) child…
I’m afraid my experience, growing up, wasn’t as affirming.
So, I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I’m 2nd in line, the oldest girl, and the only one with CP. My sis right under me (a year younger) was in baseball, ballet, karate, yeah, you get it. All my sibs did something; you know, parents put their kids in all sorts of stuff. All that is good, but, oh, wait, there’s one more daughter. What does she do? Nothing.
She’s the “handicapped” one.
BTW, I do not like the connotation of that word.
So, I was never in sports or activities of Any kind. Man, maybe that’s why I was depressed. There is nothing wrong with my mind-actually, I am of high intelligence-however, my physical movement is slower than average, but, still, I was seen as ‘the one who’d do nothing with her life’.
Yes, my mom has told me she didn’t think I’d move out or do much of anything. Because I can’t walk?! Pardon me, all, but wtf?
Recently, she’d told me that she wished people would not have encouraged me as a child (“Joey, you can do anything/be anybody”) because she could not imagine my life being bright. After I was 12, my dad was not around much, but maybe if at least one parent believed in me, then… Well, I don’t know, but…
I graduated high school (even through the bullying and other challenges I’d faced), graduated college, got my first novel published and working on more. I have a family… It made me think, though. Everybody has something to offer-look at the challenges Helen Keller had to conquer. She is one of my heroes!
Crip or not, encouragement is an amazing thing. I’ll even go as far to say if my child was deaf, blind, had an IQ of 50, whatever, there is something they know over me. They are special-everybody is special-but a little positivity Will carry them far.