I am at the library, watching a mom hold a three-month-old baby boy as he sleeps the afternoon away, and I can hardly remember a time when you were so small. Tiny and totally dependent. Just this morning, you put on your cutest 4T outfit with the glittery kitty on the shirt, and the pants were about an inch too short. It seems like you grew into a giant overnight, the minutes ticking away while life stretched your legs.
You are so aware of the world and soak up everything new. Things I didn’t know you heard grown-ups discussing now become questions. “But why?” is something I hear a lot from you these days, questioning many of the instructions I give you and things around us.
You notice the difference now between the things I am able to do, and the things I am not. “But how will you get up those stairs, Momma?”
When you were a baby, I wasn’t sure how we were going to navigate explaining to you my injury, my wheelchair, what I need help with and what I don’t. Really, I was afraid that I would explain it the wrong way and you would be confused. I have never carved out a time to tell you these things like I thought I would have to, so we take them as they come. Now I know, when you have a question, you will ask, and I will answer as simply and best as I can.
Once in a casual conversation, I mentioned walking, and you looked at me in surprise and exclaimed “MOM, you could WALK?” You will never have the privilege of seeing me walk like I did, but most kids don’t have the unique experience of having a mother with a disability either. It has taught you empathy and compassion, and I hope that you can carry that to other kids your age. You teach them, like I try to teach you.
Maybe I am being emotional because you will be having a birthday soon, and I just don’t know how the time has gone by so quickly that we are planning a party for the fourth time. It will be unicorns this year because you are very opinionated about the things you like and dislike these days.
I love you,
forever and ever,