Monday, February 4, 2008

I Am The Child (poem someone sent me)

I Am The Child
I am the child who cannot talk. You often pity me, I see it in your eyes. You wonder how much I am aware of. I see that as well. I am aware of much ... whether you are happy or sad or fearful, patient or impatient, full of love and desire, or if you are just doing your duty by me. I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater, for I cannot express myself or my needs as you do. You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times. I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated. I do not give you answers to your everyday questions, responses over my well being, sharing my needs, or comments about the world about me. I do not give you rewards as defined by the world's standards.. great strides in development that you can credit yourself; I do not give you understanding as you know it. What I give you is so much more valuable... I give you instead opportunities. Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine; the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities; the opportunity to explore your spirit more deeply than you imagined possible. I drive you further than you would ever go on your own, working harder, seeking answers to your many questions with no answers. I am the child who cannot talk.
I am the child who cannot walk. The world seems to pass me by. You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair, to run and play like other children. There is much you take for granted. I want the toys on the shelf, I need to go to the bathroom, oh I've dropped my fork again. I am dependant on you in these ways. My gift to you is to make you more aware of your great fortune, your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself. Sometimes people appear not to notice me; I always notice them. I feel not so much envy as desire, desire to stand upright, to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent. I give you awareness. I am the child who cannot walk.
I am the child who is mentally impaired. I don't learn easily, if you judge me by the world's measuring stick, what I do know is infinite joy in simple things. I am not burdened as you are with the strifes and conflicts of a more complicated life. My gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child, to teach you how much your arms around me mean, to give you love. I give you the gift of simplicity. I am the child who is mentally impaired.
I am the disabled child. I am your teacher. If you allow me, I will teach you what is really important in life. I will give you and teach you unconditional love. I gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you. I teach you about how precious this life is and about not taking things for granted. I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams. I teach you giving. Most of all I teach you hope and faith. I am the disabled child.

5 comments:

judy said...

Thank you for sharing that poem, I am printing it out to frame to remind me of Ethan and all the other children that can't tell us what they want. Thank you for still teaching me!! love, judy

Marie said...

Thank you for that poem...it hits very close to home for me as you all know. You guys are in my prayers daily.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for posting this! I have a child with special needs and this poem is so true! I always say that those with special needs were not put on earth to learn, but to teach! Your little Jacob is teaching us a lot! The life you exhibit to us through this blog is such an example of what true love is and should be! God bless your family and Thankyou!

WannaBangel said...

I again am heartened to see parent's finding God's blessings in our imperfect children. In a perfect world, we would accept and embrace our struggling children. However, the truth is with a child 11 going on 12, dealing with this since birth: it is a life-long struggle : to balance your child's realism as to how some in the world will view them, while tirelessly attempting to educate those who are afraid, who are not aware, who have not learned tolerance, and those who will never see your child as a being of possibility and success. Hold fast to faith, educate, defend tirelessly but MOST importantly - instill love and acceptance from so early on, as well as provide an "emotional suit of armor" once they grow older. NEVER let the world define your child's strengths, weaknesses, and possibilities. That is YOUR job. (Good Luck)

H.

Anonymous said...

Hi, saw this and just wanted to let you know my wife Linda Hayes wrote this for our son, Daryl Hayes Jr who is autistic, and others struggling with disabilities in a program she ran for years. thanks for sharing it.
Darylhayes@cox.net