This inspiring TED talk by Para-Olympian, Karni Liddell, has really got a lot of people thinking about how we look at disability.
She begins by drawing our attention to the conversations so many parents-to-be have when they are asked “What do you want to have – a boy or a girl?” and the socially-acceptable answer they tend to respond with: “All I want is a healthy baby”.
Nothing particularly shocking in that exchange, right?
Is life more hectic with a medical child? The answer is “of course.” Do medical concerns drain you emotionally, financially and eventually put a strain on every relationship in your life? You bet they do. BUT, having a child who requires extra attention makes you appreciate life and teaches you to see things in a whole new way.
Life and happiness are no longer measured in big currency. You cannot wait to collect enough happiness coins to make a whole dollar before you crack a smile or celebrate a milestone. Our children teach us that every happiness coin, every penny is a cause for celebration. While others wait to praise the Lord until they earn a promotion or can afford a new car, we celebrate each day as if it was an annual event. Every ounce gained, every quarter of an inch grown is documented. Every smile, swim in the pool, bike ride or completed Lego project are greeted with a “high five” and an “atta boy!” We “medical parents” know how to party and live life.
At the risk of using corporate speak, we “dial life down to a granular level.” We do not live in a macro world, our lives are not viewed from the top down. Our vantage point is from the bottom up. We enjoy the world on a micro-level, taking pleasure from every little tiny morsel of happiness we can scoop into our hands and hold close to our hearts. We are the most thankful, thoughtful and caring people, because we know first-hand how frail life can be.