Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Others

This morning as Grace and I waited outside the school entrance for her aide to walk her into the classroom, we chatted as usual.  The conversation was typical until it took a turn that I wasn't ready for...

Grace: "Mom, you know there are other people that have cerebral palsy."

Me: "Grace, what did you say?" (I was pretty sure I hadn't heard correctly)

Grace:  "Mom, there are other people that have cerebral palsy."

Me: "Yes, you are correct.  There are many others that have cerebral palsy."

Grace:  "Just like I have cerebral palsy."

Me:  "Yes, there are others like you that have cerebral palsy."

As you can see, I wasn't sure where to go with this conversation.  I was starting to panic.  Grace and I had talked about her condition but mainly in the context of therapies, surgeries, etc.  I was going to let her lead me to THAT conversation.  The WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME...the WHY ME...THAT conversation.  I was waiting until she was ready...and maybe until I was ready.

We were interrupted by Grace's aide opening the door so we weren't able to continue.

Where was Grace going with this conversation?  Had someone been talking with her about this?  What should I say?

Grace's aide says they have not talked about this (although I wouldn't mind if they had) and she hasn't heard anyone else having this type of discussion with Grace.

Then it hit me.  We had a visit yesterday to the Scottish Rite Mobility Clinic.  She saw doctors, nurses, therapists...also other children with cerebral palsy.  Did she not know?  Did she think she was the only one?  There are others.  We are not alone.