What I want most is for Olivia to experience and enjoy being a kid. I want her to be able to have friends and play games.
The reality is, it won’t always happen. This is a truth I never wanted to face…
Olivia is the youngest of three children. Most of the time she is included in every game, activity, or shenanigans concocted by her older siblings; but…sometimes she isn’t. Children live spontaneous lives. They rarely plan their next move. If Olivia’s brother and sister decide last minute they are going outdoors to play soccer, that means I can either take her outdoors to watch them or we choose a different outdoor activity that she can do. Most of the time Olivia has no interest in either of the latter choices. She wants nothing more than to run off with her siblings, chasing and laughing after a soccer ball. She shows her wholehearted attempt by tirelessly willing her body and legs to move. She becomes upset and usually breaks down crying. These moments are not easy for all of us. This is the side of Cerebral Palsy that I despise, and is the side we fight against daily! CP gave my daughter a body that is more like a prison; and everyday, we tirelessly work hard to help free her from it.
I look into Olivia’s eyes all the time. I check to make sure the “fire” is still burning inside. The fire that drives her to continue fighting! My job, our job as parents is to make sure the fire never goes out. I can’t fix her broken body, but I can enrich and nourish her mind and soul.
CP you may have won this fight, but you haven’t won the war!