Necessity, it seems, truly is at the heart of invention, and parents

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Necessity, it seems, truly is at the heart of invention, and parents continue to enforce that
belief. When our son was first born – in fact prior to his birth – I had admitted certain
fears to readers, family and friends regarding my abilities as they related to Will. I was
not afraid of raising him; I was instead focused on what each new parent fears, dropping
him.
That was of course not the only thing that frightened me, but it was the main
thing. As time has progressed however, I have proven the friends right who have told us
that we would figure it out, because all parents do, simply because we need to for the
sake of our children. There were certain things that I didn’t think I would be able to
accomplish as a parent, mostly revolving around lifting and moving our son. What I’ve
discovered, however, is that adrenaline added to the sound of a child in distress will
overcome a lot of barriers very quickly. Sometimes, it will allow muscles to move in
ways and at speeds that were heretofore unseen.
I’ve said before that all new parents – regardless of ability – are on the same
footing. Parenting is hard for everyone, because each child is different and the rules are
continually changing. I would also propose however, that all parents have similarities
with persons who have disabilities as well, because persons with disabilities need some of
the best coping skills available, as well as the ability to adapt to circumstances that may
not accommodate them. Parents need to work with the resources they have, and be ready
for the constant change that children provide while persons who have disabilities need to
constantly evaluate situations and solve problems. To me, the skill sets seem
complimentary.
Certainly, not all disabled people are parents, and not all parents are disabled.
Likewise, children are the opposite of the disability itself. They allow us to do many of
the things that we couldn’t before simply by giving us the title of “parent”. Children
enable our lives in several ways, and so I hesitate to refer to them in negative ways. I
simply wish to point out and explore the comparisons.
Disability is one difference in human experience that can transcend all of the
others. Whatever else a person might be they can also be disabled. Parenting fits that bill
as well in that most of the human race has the ability to be a parent. The combination of
these two “differences” has led me down one of the most interesting and personally
fulfilling roads of my life, and it is a situation that continues to challenge my perceptions
on the limits of my own abilities – stretching them daily. The reason that I find that
particularly intriguing is because for several years, I have been working toward getting
others to stretch their ideas about disability, and now parenting has turned the tables on
me.
Here’s to loving each and every minute of the ride.
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