Wednesday, August 15, 2012

R is for Reality

I walk out to the driveway to see the adults clustered around the edge, preventing small feet from meandering into the street, the boys playing ball in the side yard, the oldest girl riding a bike recklessly around the drive, and one small little girl coloring with sidewalk chalk, her walker abandoned next to her. It breaks my heart to see her there all alone.  I squat down next to her, tug her hair gently, surprising her with my "what's up, Katydid?" question.

"I want to play ball," she tells me, looking over at the boys playing in the grass.

"Okay, let's get you into your walker," I say, reaching for it.

"No. No walker. Katherine do it."

But the reality is, as she knows, that she can't do.  She tried and I let her try, but eventually she had to take the walker to help her through the grass.  She asks about it all the time now.  How come she isn't like all the other kids? How come other kids don't have walkers?  How come her twin brother can do it? Why does she need help?  The how comes and the whys come fast and furiously and I don't know how to answer.

The picture above is my favorite picture right now.  I am making a tree and talking to her and she's listening to me so intently, you can almost see the gears turning.  She's a smart little girl who knows the alphabet better than her older cousin who will be starting kindergarten today, but she's also an isolated and lonely little girl who just wants to play ball like her brother.

The reality is harsh. Her life will be different from her brother's life. But it will glorious, too.  Because when we were done coloring with the chalk, we laid down on the grass and looked up at the clouds and talked about what shapes they made and how the leprechauns were dancing inside them.  And her brother didn't get to see those clouds because he was too busy playing ball.


  1. That was so beautifully written. I could feel the heartache but I definitely see that she's gifted with other blessings. This was truly lovely.

  2. Anonymous8/16/2012

    I'm glad she has someone like you in her life to help her recognize her unique gifts. She sounds like a wonderful kid!

  3. I'm glad you were there. Being different as a kid is excruciating. Physical limitations sound heartbreaking, it seems so important in the midst of that to learn to see and appreciate life on different terms. I'm glad you're part of that process.


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