Reality Bites…Sometimes

I mentioned in a recent blog that during my kindergarten and first grade years, I went to a school for children with special needs. I dislike the word special in this context, but I let it go because other people were referred to as special way before my birth. Anyhow, at the school, the kids in my class were just like me, couldn’t walk, but had use of their mental faculties. However, some children were less fortunate, in that they had no control over the body whatsoever, everytime I would see them in the halls I remember my Mom telling me that I shouldn’t stare at them, it wasn’t polite. I also kept wondering why I had been so fortunate. I wanted to trade places with these kids, so that they could experience a body they could control, if I could have I would. I know that God does things for a reason, but as a 5 year old, you don’t understand why certain things are the way they are. I was always taught unconsciously by my parents to be thankful to be alive and for everything else in my life…what a terrific lesson to learn. While at the school, in the spring we would take a field trip to a place called Owens. The place had an indoor pool, and myself and the other kids got to exercise our legs in the water to give them strength. You could enter the pool 2 ways, by going down stairs or by walking down a landing leading into the pool. I always went to the landing, because the stairs didn’t seem a good idea to me. So we’re in the pool with several therapists doing exercises and everything, and when we finished exercising we got to play around the pool. This one time, after we finished playing, they told us to get ready to get out of the pool. So, I’m moving along and it suddenly hits me that I am walking in the pool…I was so thrilled I couldn’t wait to tell my family that I could walk, I thought the pool had cured me, and my legs were fine. As I reached the landing however, I realized that I was wrong, because my legs went back to the way they were when I entered the pool and I was crawling up the landing. I told my family about walking in the pool and how great it had been, and how I wished I could’ve stayed in it and showed them that I had indeed walked. This entry wasn’t written out of pity, it was written out of the celebration of my life, and how proud I am to be who I am. I hope you who read this will celebrate yourselves as well.

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