If a genie gave us an opportunity, would we wish away our child’s invisible disability?
I thought about this question all weekend after T and I watched Disney’s Aladdin.
On Saturday morning, with a bowl of popcorn, we snuggled on the couch and watched the movie T had recently enjoyed in class.
I chuckled when T said, “That bird has a potty mouth” in reference to Iago, the villain Jafar’s foul-mouthed sidekick bird.
I told T that’s what he sounds like when he uses bad words. Then he gave me a priceless look in return. If only I had my camera.
When the genie granted Aladdin his first wish, I asked T what he would wish for and without hesitation, he said, “A dog.”
T has a soft spot for dogs but with two cats at home, that ain’t happening – unless that Genie is also a dog walker!
Then naturally, the question was asked of me, “What would I wish for if I ever met a genie?”
Instead of doing house work, catching up on fitness or something of substance, I spent the final moments of my staycaytion thinking about what would happen if I encountered a genie.
Naturally, one of the first thoughts I had – and I imagine it’d be similar for other parents with a special needs child – is to wish away T’s disability.
But the crazy thing was it wasn’t such a clear cut wish for me.
If it was a physical disability, I think the wish would be clear and straightforward.
But T’s invisible disability manifests through his behaviours – and in turn, his personality – and so I would practically be wishing for an entirely different kid.
There is so much of T to love just the way he is.
Even his most frustrating behaviours end up being sources of amusement for the hubby and I once we cool down and commiserate about how fucking irritating yet so wonderfully lovable he is that you can’t help but to keep rooting for him and working hard to help him succeed.
But I also think so much – practically daily – about how his behaviours will impact his future.
So Genie, this is my wish: First off, I love our T for the way he was brought into this world and I do not want a different child.
What I do wish for is for the effects of his prenatal alcohol exposure on his life to be minimal and for him to be continually blessed with the love, supports and good luck to maximize his happiness, good health, independence, positive relationships, success and fortune in all stages of his life.
That was one wish by the way. The trick is to cram it all into one sentence without having it be a run-on sentence; use semi-colons if you have to.
We spent the rest of Saturday out in soothing nature.
I enjoyed my solo hike at the Moccasin Trail from the previous day so much that I took the hubby and T with me for a late afternoon hike.
We let T lead the way which meant we skirted the water rather than stay on the paved path. I loved watching him freely explore, including walking under a giant iron train bridge.
There was a branch tied to a long rope tied to a tree, so he had to give it a swing… or twenty. Brave kid!
The late afternoon sun was magically soothing.
It was the last day of winter and Spring was hours around the corner.
It was 13 degrees and the air was fresh and all of our moods were so positive.
At that moment, as the sun was setting, I really couldn’t have wished for anything more.