But... it still really hurts. You say you don't care so you feel stronger and braver.
This post is about that.
We've finally started 'Embracing the Lion'.
Since I was born, life has been different. We get stared at. We get judged. People make opinions about us and they lean towards each other, cover their mouths and talk, all the while watching us. Sometimes, people even point at us while they do that.
It's almost like... because I have disabilities, some people think social niceties are no longer relevant and they have the absolute right to say and do whatever they like around me.
Not everyone. But, a lot of people.
Before, we would work harder to blend in... to fit... to conform.
We were trying to be like everyone else, even though we didn't realise it.
We tried to make sure we looked good. We tried to wear the right clothes and do the right things. We did our hair and wore makeup.
We tried to make people like us.
We didn't feel pressured to blend in... It's just what we did.
Then, one day... we stopped.
Nothing happened to cause the change. There was no light bulb moment or sudden realisation that we would change. It wasn't a decision we made. We don't even remember when it happened.
It just happened.
We started to believe in ourselves. We started looking after ourselves.
People are always talking about us. Maybe it's my wheelchair. Maybe it's my cerebral palsy talking noises. Maybe it's my arm movements or my facial expressions. People looked. And, they talked.
But, we stopped worrying about what people were saying.
We started 'embracing the lion'. We call it that because Mum has curly hair. She always has. She usually straightened it and tried to make it do the 'right' thing.
Sometimes, she put curling products in her hair, to help make the curls look pretty.
And then, one day, she just didn't have time. Her hair looked like a lion's mane.
There was no controlling it. That hair wanted to run wild!
Once that happened... everything happened.
We didn't try to blend in anymore. It's too hard; we stand out.
So, we stopped trying.
We stopped trying to blend in.
We let it all go, and embraced the freedom of individuality.
This family photo really shows our personalities:
Mum had red hair for a while. It was bright red and so cool! I loved it. Then, she had purple hair. Now, Mum has blue hair, because that's the colour my sister originally asked for.
The bold hair colours have given Mum a lot of confidence and strength. The new, free look empowered her. Embracing her lion mane hair empowered her.
The Noisy Sister is very clever and has such empathy and maturity. She is also four. She has tantrums and complains, but she is an incredible little girl. She has grown up with everyone making her wait, while they helped me. She has seen me sick; really sick. She has spoken with ambulance officers, as they got ready to drive me away. She tells people to include me, and she has the ability to include everyone in her games. She moves over to the child sitting alone. She brings them in to her games. She is a natural leader. The Noisy One picks her own clothes. Apart from the frequent crazy-faced selfies, she tries to do the right thing. You can see that in this photo. She's sitting up, straight and tall, doing the right thing. She takes things to heart.
Dad is feeling much more confident with me and my disabilities and the way it makes us stand out from the crowd. He's been working hard on his health and fitness. He's so proud of us.
That little one... look at her. We love that the cameraman wasn't concerned about the sunnies. We love that they let her wear them. We hadn't even realised she was wearing them! She'd stolen them from Dad! She's wearing left over Elsa bandaids, from when she tumbled on the deck. She's slouched and smiling, more confident than any of us. Luckily for her, she missed most of my worst days. She's a fiery one. She's stubborn and strong-willed. The littlest one was born embracing her lion.
And then, Me. I'm happiest around my family. Happiest around people and happy when I'm having adventures. I get pushed and pulled and lifted and carried and moved. Sometimes, my eyes have trouble trying to focus, with all the movements. I trust my family. I know they won't hurt me, so they can carry me in strange positions, and I don't complain.
We had a family photo shoot with Kate Vickery Photography.
Mum let the sisters choose their clothes.
Wonder Woman and a minion.
And, gum boots.
Wonder Woman wears her hair out... so, my sister wore her hair out. The Minion had a loose pony tail.
And, because they were dressing up, I chose to be Iron Man.
And, our photographer embraced our outfits.
We are sure there are many stories and rumours about us.
It still hurts, when people say and do things that are unfair or mean. We still cry and get angry and frustrated. Our life is really hard; it's harder than we could ever explain.
But, because we are embracing the lion, we are able to carry on.
We choose to focus on the good stuff.
We have so much respect and gratitude to the people who actually see us.
There are so many people who see me, Dexter; a cheeky and determined little boy. Some people have seen us on our bad days, when we are not strong enough to smile. They stand beside us until we're strong enough to carry on.
Those people encourage and support us more than we could ever explain.
If you can handle us on our bad days, we will be forever loyal.
Not everyone can do that.
To everyone who has embraced their lion, found their own style and embraced their individuality, without listening to the murmurs of disapproval or judgement... we send love and smiles, while wearing costumes and gumboots!
Since we've embraced our lion, we've felt stronger and freer. We focus on what's important to us. We set our own goals and celebrate our success in our own way. We're still respectful towards others and appreciate the good in people.
We're more confident. We don't hear the gossip, as much.
We fill our days with as much fun as possible.
Embrace your lion.
They Want Octopus Arms
Little Fingers Reaching
Something to Say But No Words to Say It
And Then, They Whispered about Me
I’m a Kindy Kid!
Dexter's First Month
Dexter's Cerebral Palsy
Return to Home page
Find me on: facebook twitter instagram youtube