Ask any parent and I would almost guarantee that their child has a certain behaviour that is like nails on the chalkboard to them. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re a screamer, or that they incessantly yell are we there yet in the car over and over until you want to pull the car over and just say YES WE’RE HERE!
For me, the thing that sends a frisson down my entire body is when my kid yells at me, “That’s not fair!!” It’s like his catchphrase, uttered even in the fairest of situations that just may not be what he wanted. And every time he says that to me, every time I hear those words, I want to sit him down, look him in the eye and tell him what’s really not fair.
See, it’s not fair that Ella has CP. It’s not fair that I have to watch her struggle to be able to do the things that she wants to do. It’s not fair that the world isn’t made for kids like Ella, that it’s made for able bodies, no matter how much one might dream. It’s not fair that there’s therapies and surgeries out there that her doctors don’t see helping her. It’s not fair that for every two steps forward we take, it seems like we’re forced to take a couple hundred back. It’s not fair that I’m doing this all on my own. It’s not fair to be so exhausted and have no one to share life with.
It’s not fair, but it’s life. It’s not fair, but you’ll never hear Ella say that. Ella doesn’t spend much time talking about what she can’t do, instead she tells you what she can and WILL do. Ella takes on every single day with a giggle and a determination that only the strongest warriors possess. Ella’s teachers have the best stories of how hard she works, and though I wish some things could be different, I’m so proud of my tough girl. My sassy princess who sings at the top of her lungs and says hi to strangers on the subway.
It’s not fair, but patience and teaching are paramount in parenting, and so when my kid says that to me over some trivial matter, I remind him how lucky we are, and then I give them snacks, because snacks really do make the world go round.