Sunday, November 14, 2010

On the Bench

As Elizabeth is doing better at gymnastics and has a young fearless coach I now get to sit on the bench with the other parents and watch (at the edge of my seat). Usually I had joined her and helped her as needed. As I sit on the bench I get to watch other kids and listen to their parents.
I am sure other parents of children with disabilities agree that they often feel very conscious of what others think about their children. I am very aware of when others stare at her or make comments about her. I see how some parents roll their eyes when she takes longer and causes the other kids to wait their turn. I am aware of the complaints to the staff regarding Elizabeth being in their child's class but fortunately for us their 'fair play' rules allow Elizabeth to participate with her peers. I see the kids rush to get in front of her so they don't have to wait and I have even seen a child step over her when she has fallen down just so she could ahead of her.
What I was not prepared for at her last class was to sit by a Grandfather who did not know Elizabeth was my daughter and listen how he was describing to his son a little girl with 'determination, spunk and perseverance' he remarked over and over again how much she improved over the past couple of weeks. He noticed me giving her a thumbs up and asked if I was her mother. Trying to fight tears I told him she was my daughter and thank you for seeing her how we do; determined, spunky and a girl who tries hard in everything she does.
Check out the clip below, she wowed us with walking along the wide balance beam and stepping over obstacles while in her Superwoman suit.


Anne said...

Elizabeth is beautiful. What a marvelous video! She is very, very spunky and determined, and the costume is very fitting!

abby said...

This is so wonderful! I love the video clip and that grandfather you sat next to, too.

Billie said...

Oh, I love it. The comment and the video. She really is so spunky and adorable.

I also know the feelings of vulnerability and sadness that you describe when others are not quite so kind:-( It's hard.

Kara Melissa said...

This post made me tear up!!! First I was upset about the kids rushing ahead of her and the parents harsh words, then I was touched by that grandfather. Beautiful. Elisabeth is doing such a fab job.

Kellars Mommy said...

Ok in my hormonal state this has me in tears. I too was at first fuming thinking of how the others are treating her and then thinking of how you must feel as her mother seeing other kids/adults w/no patience and then to hear that someone noticed how determined she is made my night and although it still teared me up it makes me smile that someone has common sense enough to see that not every child is able to do stuff w/ease. Way to go Elizabeth!