Through our various therapies, support groups, etc, we know several children with varying degrees of cerebral palsy. All an inspiration. However, we don't know, personally know, any adults with cerebral palsy. I often think about how Grace will be when she grows up and how I have no real personal idea...no one I can call and ask "so what is it like to be an adult with CP?".
About a month ago, me and the kids were at the library, Grace walking with her walker. As we were leaving a man walks up to us. From the his unusual gait, I assumed he had cerebral palsy.
Man: Hi! "Does she have cerebral palsy?" (Points at Grace)
Me: "Yes, she does." (Trying to guide her out the door and up the ramp)
Man: "She looks great! Don't let anyone ever tell you she can't do anything." (his speech affected by CP)
Me: "Thanks so much! We won't." (a little distracted by Sophia questioning his unusual speech...that is a discussion for later)
He then walks to his car parked next to ours in handicapped parking, gets in, and drives off. I was so touched that he would stop and talk with us. It felt kind of like I had gotten a pat on the back and an "everything will be okay".
If I didn't have my three with me (and again Sophia questions), I probably would have ran after him and asked if I could buy him a coffee and pick his brain. Hopefully next time I will be better prepared.
Yesterday while at the grocery store, looking for an open register, a woman waved me over saying "Ma'am, I can get you right here." She then turned to walk to the register. There it was...the unusual gait! Did she have cerebral palsy? Can I ask her about? Will she be offended? I stood there very conflicted about what to do as she ran my grocery items across the scanner. I didn't ask. I was too afraid. Of what...what would she say...would she want to talk with me about it? Will Grace get those questions...or just looks of sympathy or even disgust at times.
Maybe I'll get another chance. What should I do? What would you do?