First, there was my brother. I don’t remember what the problem was, but I remember hearing that quite a portion of his childhood was spent on doctor visits and X-rays. I know he had some posture problems growing up and I don’t know if that’s related but he turned out fine. Then I was born. At the beginning there was a lot of worrying, praying, stressing about whether or not I’d survive. Then there was a childhood of exercising, of daily routines with my parents always on a mission to incorporate new things into my day to make me better. Conductive Education, horse ridding, swimming, crawling, whatever the next big approach to Cerebral Palsy was at the time. We would travel to meet big name bio energy therapists someone read about in a paper and healers, we even tried Japanese massage and some Russian magical device curing people with electrical currents. A lot of those novelties had waiting lists, visited the town on a limited engagement. There was no end to my parents’ hope and determination and I wrote about it before. Worrying about getting me up the stairs to the classroom every day turned into adulthood of worrying if I can get somewhere in my wheelchair and how. I’ve learnt to live with my disability but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t effect me every day.
So when my brother had his first child not too long ago ( he has two small children now) and given he was in his late 30’s the one thought that kept going through my mind was- I hope it’s OK, I hope it doesn’t have anything. Because both my brother and I had something- affecting not only us, bot also our parents. But both my nephew and niece are healthy, regular children. And I was extremely relieved that my brother and wife were spared this life of worrying and forging new paths everywhere. It must be refreshing to be just like everybody else, to not stick out everywhere you go, to have problems, yes, but regular family problems like the ones people on TV shows have.The will get to go to school, get good grades, get bad grades, play sports, play instruments, date, break hearts and have their hearts broken and travel for fun rather than therapy. Just be normal. To not have a cause, to not be a cause, worry about ramps, awareness, prejudice, other people’s thoughts, your posture, your mobility. I don’t mind my disability because I never lived without it, but I never signed up for it, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. When the kids were born and they were fine, I was relieved. For once, disability was not a front and center issue.