Be the one who holds her hand. Be the one who dances to her music. Be the one who stops and joins her in her dance. Be the one who looks her in the eyes and smiles. Be the one who stands with her holding her hands while others look on. Be the one who is her friend.
Because when you are that one, others will see that it’s okay to hold hands. Others will see that it’s okay to dance. Others will see that it’s okay to stop what they’re doing and join in her dance. When you are that one, you will empower others to come and join in her song and look into her eyes and smile and be her friend.
Too many children just stare. Too many children act scared if she reaches out for their hand. Too many children think dancing with someone in a wheelchair is weird. Too many children jerk their hand away. Too many people step away and try to avoid her. Too many children have never interacted with someone like her before.
But when one child decides it's okay, when one child lets her hold their hand, when one child stops what they're doing and looks into her eyes, when one child decides it's okay to dance with someone in a wheelchair, other children notice. And other children decide it's okay. And other children take the chance. And other children stop and look into her eyes, take her hands and dance with her.
And the more children who stop and dance, the more children who think it's okay, the more children who aren't scared of her, the more "normal" my child can feel. And the more fun she can have. And the more she can dance. And the more she can be a part of your world. And the more you can be a part of hers.
She's not gonna hurt you (but watch your toes!). She's not scary. She just wants to be friends. She just wants to dance.
So dance with her.
Be the one. And teach your children to be the one. Be the one. Because the one encourages others. And my girl needs others. And the world needs others.
Thank you for being the one!
Here are more inspirational and informative stories written by other parents.
“Hopelighting” is a compilation of heartwarming stories featuring El Paso children with disabilities. It was written by parents for parents, educators and service providers who work with children with disabilities.
Categories: Family Support