He’s a 16-year-old kid. He wants to be a 16-year-old kid the way he is, just like any 16-year-old kid wants to do things the way they do.
Why should a kid with prosthetic legs be an inspiration when he plays baseball? He just wants to play baseball, and that’s the way he does it. Yes, it’s more challenging than if he had two flesh and bone legs that ran when he told them to. But the way he plays is normal for him.
When I narrowly viewed how things should be, I unintentionally one-dimensionalized people. Then when I had reason to truly care, my heart cracked open to multiple ways of being. That is true joy once experienced; it’s very freeing. Challenges don’t disappear but my mind is no longer caught in what should be, because Wil is exactly as he should be. Boys playing baseball, no matter how they get to the bases, are how they should be.
Whenever I define what should be, the deep value of the many ways things can be is lost in my angst. The value of a multitude of joys is equal to the value of true inclusion. But a change in thinking doesn’t happen until we have a reason to care.
Christie Taylor has written two books about her son, Wil. She found her storytelling connected her with many other families who were raising children with Down syndrome, while at the same time, raising much needed awareness. Read her blog at Wilingness.com