THE CARAVAN Volume 9, Issue 4, April 2010
IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME!
Last month I wrote about how proud I am to be a Canadian and how proud I was of the Olympics. This month I want to follow that up with some words about the 2010 Paralympics. I am writing this from my point of view without any research, just how I feel from my observations and from my heart, so it may not be politically correct.
At the time of writing this Caravan the 2010 Paralympics are on in Vancouver. I have been able to catch some of the events, but not as many as I did a few weeks ago. I have to say how much I admire these athletes and I began to think about what great courage and dedication it takes to rise to the heights these individuals have risen to.
In my seminars I speak about the concept that it is not what happens to you that counts, it’s what you do about it. These athletes are the epitome of that saying. Can you imagine playing hockey without the use of your legs? Can you imagine skiing down hill without vision or without the use of your legs? Too many times we take what we have for granted and too many times we see people who are not like us as disadvantaged. These people are not disadvantaged they just do some things differently.
Some also have a tendency to patronize them. There are many of us who even feel uncomfortable around them. Maybe that is because we see our own fragility in them. I have seen people speak to the person pushing a wheelchair instead of the person in the wheelchair. Just because a person has a physical issue, does not mean they have a mental issue.
I had a friend, Debbie at Brock who had MS and we used to joke about how she walked and how slow she was (with her permission and all in good fun) and it was interesting how some people didn’t understand our humour. She did wobble when she walked and she was slow. She knew that and we had fun with it. I also didn’t open the car door for her unless she asked for help. She was quite capable of taking care of herself and quite capable of asking for help when she needed it. I didn’t need to treat her any differently than I would treat any other friend of mine.
I guess the message I want to pass on in this Caravan is simply treat everyone with dignity and respect. And just because someone can’t do it the way you do it, does not mean that they can’t do it or that it may be wrong. As a matter of fact, they may actually be able to do it better than you.
I tip my proud Canadian hat to all of the Paralympians and thank you for representing our country.
MOM’S TWO CENTS
By Jordin Williamson
IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO HIM…BUT IT MAY NOT BE HOCKEY!
I wasn’t much into sports when I was young and I feel like I missed out on the fun of being part of a team. I want my children to have those experiences and those memories. My husband was very active in many sports throughout his childhood and continues with his favourites now as an adult. He played ice hockey and lacrosse from the time he was four and was always one of the top scorers on his teams. And of course like every proud dad, he had his son’s first little jersey picked out before he was even born.
And so it begins…the grooming of an all-star athlete. But there is a problem. This little athlete doesn’t want to participate. The hockey equipment was purchased and the child was dressed from head to toe. The dad stood back with a huge smile and a twinkle in his eye, until the tears began. My son hates wearing his hockey equipment. He doesn’t want to play. He likes to play with cars, colour, play in the dirt, help me cook, and hit things with sticks…but not hockey. He has no interest in picking up a lacrosse stick and wants to smash things with a baseball bat instead of use it to hit balls.
He tried soccer last year and it went well so he is playing soccer again this summer. I believe that he needs to try all the sports until he figures out which one he likes. It may be golf, it may be tennis, or it may be fishing. But for now we know it isn’t hockey. Someone told me that if he were going to play hockey it would be in his blood. He will want it, crave it, and dream about it. But all he dreams about right now is finding the biggest mud puddle to splash in. And that is ok. If he is going to be the next super star athlete it has to be on his terms, with him leading the way. For now we are going with soccer as it has the least amount of equipment to wear and he can run around in the sun. Oh and I do plan to bribe him with ice cream now and then if necessary.
We can have dreams and goals for our children regarding their future however; ultimately it is up to them. We can guide them and offer them every opportunity we can. But, in the end, all we really want is for our children to be truly happy! And if it is to be, it is up to them.
Quote of the Month
By Brodi Mouradian
"Never give up on your dreams. But make sure they are YOUR dreams."