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Monday, February 23, 2015

Wheelchair

In the next week or so, Cooper will be getting a wheelchair.  And, while this is super exciting for Cooper, it means that I will have a child in a wheelchair.  And that's a little painful, if I'm being perfectly honest.  Things are about to get a little selfish up in here, but I'm a real person with real feelings that are sometimes ugly and not always correct, so deal with it.

In our culture, wheelchairs almost always have the negative association of "handicap," so much so that there's a whole "handicapable" campaign to disspell this belief. I don't want to have to defend Cooper.  If he's in his cool stroller thing, and we're just walking along, it's easy to imagine that Cooper is just a "normal" kid, but with a wheelchair, it will be obvious, even from a distance, that Cooper is far from "normal." I know, I'm being whiny and selfish, believe me, and I know that he will hopefully like it and be motivated to use it himself, but still...it kinda sucks.

I know that Cooper has no idea if someone looks at him funny or makes an ignorant comment, but I know.  And I somehow feel that having Cooper in a wheelchair will draw more of those looks and elicit more of those comments.  And I just don't want to deal with it.  I don't want to be nice when people are stupid.  I don't want to pretend not to notice that you're giving my child (or me) pitying looks.  I just don't.

But Cooper's physical therapist is super excited.  Brad is super excited.  And I will pretend to be super excited too.  Because, no matter what, he's my little guy.  And at the end of the day, when he snuggles up to me and says, "mama," I just melt and give him my heart all over again.

4 comments:

Celia said...

Being honest is ALWAYS best , Crady. As always, you never cease to amaze me. I am proud beyond words. I love you all to the moon and back.

Celia said...

Being honest is ALWAYS best, Crady. You never cease to amaze me. You make me so proud. I love you all to the moon and back. Mom

Kara Paulk said...

Totally agree with your mom!

Mary Evelyn said...

Man do I remember those feelings when my son got his first wheelchair. It was such a strange mix of excitement and joy at seeing him be independent for the very first time and sadness over the fact that he would never walk. It's hard to see your child in a wheelchair and (as you mentioned) part of that is because of the culture we live in. There is a definite stigma around wheelchairs and people assume many things about those who use them-- things that simply aren't true. Even though dealing with stares and odd interactions is hard, I promise you will have positive interactions that equal or outweigh the bad ones. And, when you see your little guy get the hang of his wheels and start exploring, it will be like the biggest treat ever.

Hang in there, lady. And congrats on the new (wheelie) addition.

(If it's helpful, here's the post I wrote almost two years ago when my son got his first chair: http://www.whatdoyoudodear.com/welcome-to-wheel-world-our-first/ And a post from one of my favorite bloggers writing about her son's mobility journey: https://teamaidan.wordpress.com/mobility-journey/)