Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why are you in a wheelchair?

The age three has really made Laura (my daughter) ask a lot of questions. Some questions are easy- like "Why can't I touch a hot stove?" Others are not so easy - "When am I going to play with Daddy in Heaven?" However, as a parent, one must sort through your own brain to try to answer young questioning eyes.

A topic that has come up lately in our house is "Mommy, why are you in a wheelchair?" Now it is hard enough to try to explain cerebral palsy to an adult - let alone a child. I have raised Laura as 'normally' as possible. Half the time I think she forgets that I cannot walk. However, now she's more in tune to differences and she wants to learn everything.

The best answer I came up with is - "Mommy's brain had a boo boo when she was born and the boo boo makes Momm'ys muscles not listen to her sometimes." The answer worked for the time being, and she went on her way.

Today we were at Laura's sport class and her friend came over and asked me why am I in a wheelchair? Before I could speak, my daughter very to the point said, "My Mommy has cerebral palsy. It's just a boo boo on her head but she's nice." His mom and myself were stunned and her friend was satisfied.

It's ashame that more adults can't be happy with such simple answers to big problems.


  1. Wow, that's cute, Jessica! I think I explained to my then 8-year-old grandson, Caleb, about my disability, which I had explained in more detail to his older brother. Then, I remember that at another time, Caleb remembered exactly what I had told his older brother word for word! I was amazed! That's the thing, kids are pretty smart and they can remember things when explained to them, even at a young age.

  2. Once my then 6yr old wanted to know why we got to park in disabled parking spaces. We explained it to him and then went to a school function. The principal come over to say hi and he proclaimed "Hi, my mom has a disability and I have email address!" and ran away. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard, poor woman.