What is it about?

The rollercoaster adventures of parenting three kids, dealing with disability and mental health - and discussing disability discrimination and how to tackle it.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

An Inspirational Boy

Next Monday is the day of the sports carnival at Mister Determined's school. On Wednesday, they had a general rehearsal. He woke up that morning, and we immediately noticed that he was a bit fragile. He came for a long cuddle in the bed, and when the radio played a sad song, tears welled up in his eyes. After we sang along to the radio - first singing the song in a sad way, and then singing the same song in a happy way, he told me that he was worried about the sports, worried that he might not be able to keep up with the other kids. I assured him that when Daddy dropped him off at school later that morning, he would talk to his teachers, and they would surely let him do some jobs if he didn't want to join in with the sports. Dad also ended up reminding the teachers that Mister Determined would benefit from being told regularly and throughout the day what was happening, as he doesn' t do change in the routine too well.

So I was a bit anxious when I came to pick him up from school later that day, wondering how it had all gone. As soon as I walked into the classroom, I asked "how did it go?" and the teacher turned to me with a glowing face. He had coped brilliantly with the whole day, and decided to participate. He ran in the 50 meters race. And then, he ran in the 100 meters race! All the teachers clapped and cheered him on. By the time the teacher had finished the story, she had tears in her eyes. "He's an inspirational boy" she said, and he beamed with pride.

Later that night, he did let on that his whole class clapped and cheered on Tom, who was the fastest runner - and he was so slow, the class did not clap for him. We had a long chat about how his efforts are just as big as Tom's, and how sometimes in life, it's not the speed at which you do things but the fact that you have a go, even at something that is very difficult, and we don't really want to do at first. We also spend some time on explaining the word "inspirational", and then, Mister Determined had hours of fun with an old microphone, pretending to organise a school sports carnival, and making a whole lot of noise, hailing imaginary kids to the starting blocks. Rollercoaster parenting indeed - up and down, up and down.

1 comment:

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