As many of you know I constantly struggle with idea of having children. I believe more and more it is truly possible and something I can handle. And to assure me even more, sometimes a moment occurs to remind me just how possible my dreams really are. Today, as I was cleaning out my closet - an enormous project going on for weeks and weeks - I came across some photos and started peeking through the stack. Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon a couple of pictures taken just a little over 4 months after my accident. I completely forgot about these pictures and this moment. I was at a dance competition, holding a dance mom's baby and I was holding him just fine. I hardly had any balance at this point and was still healing, but I did it and didn't even realize it until today.
After looking through the pictures I remembered another memory that always brings a smile to my face. A few years ago, I traveled with a friend and her daughters to a dance competition in Michigan. The morning of the dance competition I was, of course, running late. Eileen and two of her girls already headed over to the venue where the competition was underway and I was following close behind with the other one. Since we were in a hurry, I didn't dry my hair, which was as long as it is now, and I let it stay wet and wavy, hoping the wind would dry it out. It was very bright outside, so I put on my sunglasses and we headed to the competition. We were moving very fast as we hustled a few blocks to our destination. The wind was fierce and to say my hair was windblown would be an understatement. Quickly, we threw open the doors and sped in, hoping not to miss Kelly dance. Propelling myself in my wheelchair requires both hands, so I don't always remove my sunglasses, coats, hats, or gloves until I am settled. We raced into the auditorium and spotted Eileen and the girls. As we hurriedly headed their way, a little blond girl, who was all of about five years old, came running towards me. Her little feet were running so fast she stuck out her hand and braced herself on my knee. Then with her cottony blond hair and tiny face, she looked at me with a dimple forming grin and sparkling eyes and said in a voice, filled with excitement and wonder that only a five year old can create, "Are you a movie star?"
I laughed, put my arm around her and said, "No, honey, no I am not." She asked me about fifty more questions, not one of them pertaining to my wheelchair or paralysis, and took off when her mom called, running backwards and shouting, "Bye, I have to go dance now."
When I am feeling really down about something silly or start to feel self conscious or nervous about the way I look in my wheelchair or when I too quickly judge someone or something else, I think of this little girl and her question. I think of her perspective and how simple and kind it is. And how unaware of difference, disability, and prejudice she is and I try to view life through her lens. The lens that assumes because you are wearing sunglasses and have windblown, wavy hair you must be a movie star. Because we are all movie stars and rock stars...just grab a fan and some sunglasses, you'll see.