It was Thanksgiving day back in 2002. I was only 23 years old and my life forever changed on that day. I had a placental abruption and Brendan was born at 33 weeks. He lost oxygen during delivery due to incompetent care but was a fighter and turned 13 this year. My journey in life over the past 15 years took many turns I was not expecting but I try to stay strong and have my husband by my side even when I am not.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Brendan is not the typical ten year old who wants video games or toys for his birthday so we got him an overnight stay at a hotel. His lucky siblings got to benefit too. He loves to swim and sleep in a hotel room, it is probably in the top 5 of his favorite things to do. He was asking to ride the elevator, buy a snack, go back to the room all by himself and guess what?! We let him! We were on the second floor and decided he could try going back to the room on his own after we had gone to it a few times. He has a great memory and we all trailed behind him secretively. My husband took the stairs and waited by the elevator. I stayed way behind just to watch my child who is in a wheelchair make it down a very long hallway, into an elevator and onto the 2nd floor to find our room. He did AWESOME! He talked to people in the hallway and wheeled himself all the way to that elevator. He pushed the button and wheeled in. He made it to the 2nd floor. I jumped in the elevator and headed up after him and he was waiting for me with the room key in hand and said "I can't reach". It was probably one of the proudest moments I have had. When you have a child in a wheelchair independence is hard to give. I think I will always be extra overprotective of him. However, he is the big 10 and I have to let him start to grow up. He is ready and I have to start getting ready and fast! We let him go into a snack area and buy his own snack and he even asked the front desk attendant for help. He requested a bag and a receipt. He is too funny. I think he gets percs being in a wheelchair because he was only charged $1.07 for a large bag of doritos and we had looked at the prices and nothing cost that little!
Brendan continues to amaze me and as long as we let him grow up and try new things he will persevere. I do notice while public buildings have come a long way becoming accessible they still have a long way to go. Being in a wheelchair Brendan couldn't put the key in the room door or open it, it was very heavy! He also couldn't exit the bathroom on his own in the lobby. He couldn't pull open the door and exit on his own. I wonder are these things that he will learn to do or will he never be able to go places all on his own. Will he always need an aid?
While I am so proud watching him become this independent little boy I also get upset and worry about all the obstacles he will continue to face. Not being able to stand or walk makes life very difficult! One things is for sure, he is one awesome kid who doesn't want to let a wheelchair rule his life.