From Dec 21 2013
I could write endlessly on my blog about the need for “acceptance” and “inclusion” regarding children with disablities but the pictures Johnny’s EA texted me show real acceptance and love. The faces of his Grade 1 peers joyously all clambering to be in the picture and surround Johnny before they get out on the ice. On either side of Johnny are a little boy and girl who have become his closest friends in class who help him when he asks or looks like he is lost and in need of a friend. Johnny is not looking right at the camera but Mommy is not surprised. He looks deep in thought probably taking in the hockey area and how it looks and thinking of the prospect of learning to skate for the first time. He is wearing strange feeling boots with a blade on the bottom and has a hockey helmet on for the first time. The smell of the ice arena, the sounds of the other skaters already gliding on the ice, and the feel of the cold air of the ice as he sits so close to the ice rink for the very first time. Then there is the excitement of his classmates that he needs to process as well as he takes all of this in.
Johnny’s Grade 1 teacher decided to treat his class before school let out for the holidays by chartering a bus and taking the kids ice skating and for a pizza lunch. Picture after picture was texted to me by a very happy and excited EA of a very happy Johnny being shown how to skate. I loves the ones where he looks so determined but happy as he hung on to the side boards and pulled himself along.
Later he told me ( I still have to pinch myself when he tells me something significant about his day without me prompting him):
“I feel down on the ice Mommy. I fell lots of times on my bum. ”
“It was fun I want to go again.”
The best part for Johnny?
“Mommy, Mommy, Mommy….I saw the hockey players come out and go on the ice for practice.”
Imagine doing something new for the first time that is new to your friends as well and for the first time your friends struggling with you….together but having fun. All I want is for Johnny to be enjoying being the kid he is right along with all of his peers. This was definitely one of those moments.