Saturday, June 10, 2017

Much, Much, More

She was little

She saw me and smiled

She pointed to me

Her little finger traced a circle in the air

Eyes seeing the wheel of my chair

Now she stops.

And looks

Really looks at me

At my chair

She is in the smallest

and tiniest

wheelchair I have ever seen

It is pink

She pulls at her mother's dress

Mother is busy at the check out

and brushes her hand away

I slow down

I see her seeing me

I see her fascination

Someone who rolls

Like she rolls

Mother turns as I go by

Tiny hands reach towards me

Wanting me to stop

She's not done

Seeing me

Mother apologizes 

Pulls her chair back

She can't reach me any more

I say that its okay

That it's nice to meet 

Such a lovely

Member of my community

What community is that? I am asked

The disability community, I answer

There is no such thing

Mother says

She is not her disability

She is much, much more

I say

Because I must

She has a disability 

And her community

Will help make her

Much, much, more


Unknown said...

On some level your interaction with the child and the mother will remain with each of them (and with you, I imagine).
I like to hope that the child saw a hero....a non threatening grownup on BIG wheels...a grownup who she imagines was once a little boy like her....
the human longing for 'someone like us" in our differences from those around is deep in the human heart....
your path crossed her path, today, and that is enough, at this time.


ABEhrhardt said...

I hope her mother helps her grow up indomitable - in a world all your work has made a little bit safer.

Never think your huge efforts are underappreciated, because you will never in this world know the limits of your influence.

Nightengale said...

I often feel one of my most important jobs as a (disabled) developmental pediatrician is introducing disabled children to the disability community. Because they are children, this generally involves introducing it to their family. Slowly, over time, some become receptive to the message and are then ready to facilitate inclusion for their children. Those are the children I worry a lot less about. But it takes time. Sometimes I can at least console myself the children were exposed to the idea.

CT said...

Oh, Dave.