Amazing Moments

The ordinary often takes what’s so special about life hostage. We get lost in our routines, at least until something amazing occurs and restores our perspectives. Colonial Hills Elementary School recently provided the setting for one such amazing moment during Field Day.  Thankfully somebody captured the entire happening on video so I don’t need to worry about giving  the moment just credit. Instead, you get the opportunity to watch the inspirational instance for yourself.

First, to give the embedded Youtube video context, I copied and pasted the video’s description.

“Matt has Spastic Cerebral Palsy, but opted to run in Field Day at Colonial Hills Elementary School despite being given the option to sit it out and despite the incredible challenge of his disability. What transpires is a boy who is filled with determination and a school of children who spontaneously come together and inspire Matt and everyone of us to do and be better.”   

Now without further ado,

Incredible right? Matt defines determination. Plus the overwhelming support his entire class demonstrates displays human nature at its finest. This leads me to ask, have you ever experienced, participated, or witnessed an amazing moment similar to the one  above? Personally, my high school graduation which I recall in my teenage memoir Off Balanced  comes to mind. For your free reading pleasure, here’s a short excerpt from my book.

“My mind, caught up in the moment, went numb with each name called drawing me closer to the stage. You could tell how well liked someone was based on the reception given by our fellow graduates. Directions given at the start to hold applause and cheers until the end quickly became a casualty of the enthusiastic atmosphere. I inched closer to the stage, my thoughts still blank.

‘Zachary Fenell.’ The school administrator called out. Sucking in a deep breath I moved towards center stage. Clap! Clap! Clap! Hands smacking together rang in my ears as I received a very respectable applause. Surprise and pride mixed together. Pride naturally consumed me as high school graduation is a grand milestone in life. The surprise came from the reaction I received. I had no reason to expect much of a reception considering how closed off I had been to most classmates.”

Your turn! Share your amazing moment below via a comment. 🙂


Parenting with a Disability

Last week my fellow author Neil Matheson (@NeilMatheson1) shared the following news story with me via Twitter, “Disabled Parents Fight to Keep Newborn at Home.” For those feeling too lazy to click the link, today ONLY I will enable your sluggish behavior and recap the article.

In Mississauga, Ontario (Canada) Peel Children’s Aid Society social  workers threatened to take four weeks old William away from his parents Maricyl and Charles who both live with cerebral palsy unless the couple hired an around the clock able-bodied caregiver. Now according to the CBC News story, Maricyl can handle all the baby raising necessities, such as changing diapers and breastfeeding. Advocate from Coalition for Persons with Disabilities Ryan Machete provided his insight to the news outlet saying,

“From what I’ve seen when I’ve been at the apartment … there’s really nothing that she (Maricyl)’s unable to do,”   

Peel Children’s Aid Society and William’s parents met to discuss the Society’s concerns Friday, May 4 and obviously social workers ended up agreeing with Machete as CTV News notes the social workers dropped demands for a 24/7 able-bodied caregiver. While William’s individual case remains solved, I still feel the topic worth mentioning. After all how much discussion do you really encounter about parenting with a disability?

Personally, outside Neil Matheson’s book  Daddy Bent-Legs I don’t recall reading anything on the subject. Secretly I consider how my mild cerebral palsy might affect my ability to parent one day. Since I don’t drive I’m not going to take my future kids to school or baseball practice. My poor hand-eye coordination will make playing catch with my currently non-existent kids difficult. On the other hand freelance writing offers the perfect opportunity to become a work-from-home father. Plus I’ll supply excellent help on English homework.

Daddy Bent-Legs by Neil Matheson

Neil Matheson discusses parenting with a disability in his book Daddy Bent-Legs.

Basically every parenting situation, not just those involving individuals with disabilities, features positives and negatives. I believe analysis and determining parental roles proves vital to capitalizing on the positives and negating the negatives.  We as a society shouldn’t deem someone unfit for parenting based off a generic label like “disability.” Ultimately the real issue emerges as (Insert Name) parenting and NOT parenting with a disability.