Saturday, March 6, 2010

Guinea pigs with disabilities

My daughter, like all children, has very inreresting things to say. Most recently, I asked her how big she thinks guinea pigs are. To this, without hesitating, she said, "they get as big as cats. If they are smaller, then they have a disability." Interesting.

It's also interesting to watch her perceptions as she grows up. At one point she thought it would be neat for everyone in the family to have a disability, so for me it was my legs, for Daddy his eyes, for the cat her renal failure (worded differently), for the dog her panting. I don't recall that she had a disability though.

She's very intrigued by the parking. She hates the word "handicapped," especially when she sees it on a parking sign. She asks when my legs will work; she sometimes prays for them and for another guy who uses a wheelchair and goes to our church. She imagines inventions of shoes that will make my legs work. It is all intriguing.

After teaching to kids this week I have realized that the younger they are, the less they are likely to have pre-conceived notions about what people can do. Then someone pointed me to a talk by Aimee Mullen, who has said she loves that she is finally known as Aimee Mullen rather than her disability. She recited a version of a poem at a talk recently that comes back to kids. My daughter sees me and some limitations, but she also sees me as her mom, as any kid would do. So this poem which Aimee Mullen used to end a recent talk gives such a great sense of it all... (from - an amazing talk by Aimee Mullen)

The God Who Only Knows 4 Words:
Every child has known God
Not the God of names
Not the God of don'ts
But the God who knows 4 words
and keeps repeating them, saying
Come, dance with me
Come. Dance with me.

No comments: