Monday, October 1, 2012

A Different Perspective

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.


  1. You Rock and your kids will too!!

  2. Beautiful post. If you lived in MN, I would hire you to help take care of my kids in a hot second! You have a wonderful attitude to share, and that's what matters for raising kids :)

  3. I love this post - it makes me happy! I remember you telling me about that little girl way back when it happened. Your description makes me see it in my mind and brings a big smile!

  4. Love it :-) Kids have the best way of looking at the world. Your children will be gorgeous!

  5. Definitely a memory to treasure! Wouldn't it be great if we could all see ourselves through the eyes of a child. We would all probably be a little less hard on ourselves.

  6. You absolutely can, should, WILL!!! I have a three year old and can't think of any reason you couldn't. The majority of kid time is spent with them in your lap snuggling (you've got that! check!) or chasing after them (check!) Oh, and 500 trips to the fridge for more milk (check! Check!) You've got this!!! Sure, you'll have to find playgrounds where there's not deep sand to get your wheels stuck in, but who wants to go to a sandy playground and get sand in their shoes anyways?? All the best and safest playgounds are the ones with the nice smooth bouncy surface, and you'll zip across that no problem.
    In my humble little opinion, I think you should totally take the "should i have kids?" question off the table, I think you already know the answer to that in your heart. It's really only a matter of when you're ready to. And you'll know that when you get there.

  7. So many people with so many different types of disabilities can - and do - have children, and manage just fine. Life will always find a way, if you want it to. And on the flipside, there are many parents out there without disabilities, but who can't manage whatsoever. I truly believe that what makes a person worthy and capable of being a parent is not whether or not they are physically able, but emotionally.

    I know I don't know you from a bar of soap, but from what I've read of your blog, I believe you have a heart of gold and you will be a truly awesome mum. Your children won't NEED you to be able to run around kicking a ball with them (pfft, that's what the other neighbourhood kids are for!) they'll need you to give them a loving home, kiss their scraped knees, be the shoulder for them to cry on, shower them with hugs and guide them through life in the best way you can - and you are absolutely capable of doing this. Absolutely.

    And your kids will be stunners too!

  8. Sarah, it's good to see another post from you. I very much appreciate reading your blog, it is full of honesty and heart. I agree what the others have written. YES, having children is a possibility and YES you WILL be incredible at it. You're children will be so blessed to have you as a mama.
    I love the story about the little girl who thought you were a movie star. SO precious. Have a great day! ~Shanda

  9. Just see how amazing a good pair of sunglasses can be? Make the change! Rock out! We can do it everywhere! Great story and reminder. Love ya.

  10. This post made me warm inside. I hope you end up with a big family. I think you are the kind of person who would make a wonderful mother.

  11. Sarah,
    you make all of us think
    think about ourselves
    about what is granted
    and what is taken for granted.
    I saw this:

    and thought of your thoughts.

  12. That story brings tears to my eyes! Just the other day my kid (ages 8 and under) went to play with a four-year-old friend of theirs who has spina bifida and is confined to a wheelchair. When they came home they ran into the house talking over one another to talk about how much fun they had, and all the amazing things he could do with his wheelchair. I don't think it ever occurred to them that he had a disability. To them, he's just a friend.

    And you are so, so right about motherhood. The more experience I have in this department, the more I believe that the *only* thing kids really need from a mom is that she loves them.

    Thank you for sharing your incredible writing gifts with us!


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate all of your words.