At a garage sale last week a dad and his two sons were selling hotdogs, Kool-Aid and chips. My boys wanted some of course, so I gave them some dollars and they ran over. My hands were full with my newfound treasures, and I figured they were capable of carrying their own hotdogs. I sometimes forget that other people aren't used to Keegie and his quirks. He doesn't use his left hand as well as his right. He has mild hemiplegic cerebral palsy affecting the left side of his body. I would've handed him the hot dog first, condiment free, and he would've tucked it in between his left hand and his chest, then held the cup of Kool Aid with his good hand, his right hand. I forget that everyone else doesn't know these things. I was paying for my goods when I heard the dad say "Did you hurt your hand?" and I turned around to see this poor dad trying to give Keegie the cup of Kool Aid and Keegie just looking at him, not sure what to do because he knew that he would also need to hold the hot dog next. I said "No, I'm sorry, he has cerebral palsy, he won't grab things with that hand." Which wasn't completely true because he will, he just can't open it all the way up and wrap it around a cup. He does better with small objects. The father replied "Oh yeah, man, I hate when kids are born with stuff like that. I hate seeing what they have to go through."
Four years ago, I may have cried. I would have wallowed in self pity about how other parents felt bad for me. I would've felt bad for me, and my heart would've broken for my poor baby. But now, it's different. Now, I don't think that my son having CP is the end of the world. I smiled, and I replied, "It's not so bad. They told me he would probably never even walk, we're very blessed to have him and for him to be doing as well as he is." The man smiled back and we waved goodbye, but I could tell he didn't believe me really, and that he still pitied us.
But I was telling the truth. We are lucky to have Keegie with us. He could be much more severe than he is. They told me it was likely he would never walk, talk, roll over, sit up, anything. At one point they even told me they weren't sure if he would learn to suck from a bottle and that he may need a permanent feeding tube. He learned quite quickly to suck down that milk! He has continually, over and over, proved that the doctors are not always right. It has been a long hard battle, but he has taught me so much. I am very lucky to be his mom.
CP wasn't the end of the world. It wasn't the horrible sentence we thought it would be. Actually, it all turned out pretty great. Despite all of the struggles, Keegie has made me a better person and if I had the chance to go back, I wouldn't change a thing. I love being his mom, CP and all.