Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Upstairs, Downstairs

When I climb the stairs after my daughter's bedtime, it takes me back to my own childhood.  I remember falling asleep to the sounds of  the rest of the family going about their business.

My father was (and still is) a fairly quick walker. But when he climbed the stairs, his steps sounded ponderous. Between the landing and the upstairs hallway, he often punctuated his steps with a long burp (sorry, Dad).

I could recognize my mother by her sprightly, rhythmic steps. Sometimes she also whistled softly (as she still does) with her classically trained warble.

I'm sure my daughter recognizes the sound of me going up the stairs. I don't lean on the railing the way I used to, but I still need it. My gait is uneven, and there's nothing remotely sprightly about it.

There have been times when I thought that full recovery was right around the corner. Now I realize there's a very good chance that when my daughter is a teenager, I will still need the railing.

I have many identities: mother, music-lover, aspiring writer, wife, daughter. Am I ready to tack on this one: disabled mother?


  1. I dont think you need to add the label....maybe thats how its been and maybe is today.....but there's always hope for a better "tomorrow". I choose to look at it this way....our kids are learning things they otherwise wouldn't have. I hope my sons will always remember to be extra sensitive and patient with those that need extra time and care. They are learning how to adapt to my needs and help me when I need it. This is not the life I envisioned or planned, but its the hand I was dealt. I hope they never feel "cheated" in the mom department. I do my best, I love them like crazy, and I hope it all works out! Time will tell.

  2. Grace, our daughter recently asked Tom and me to BOTH walk her down the aisle when she gets married next year. Because I'm self-conscious anyway and all eyes will be on use, I wanted to say no, but of course I said yes. Now I've got a year to fix my gait and ditch my cane.

  3. People with money can hire people to take care of their children. but no one loves a child like his or her mother. Being a good parent means much more than taking care of a child's body. If I had to give you a label I would call you a good parent.

  4. Hmmm disabled walking, talking so on to me I s not part of the definition of being a mother. I think a disabled mother would be someone who is unable to love their child or chooses abusive behaviors above their child's needs. I believe you are a lot closer to a "gifted Mother" than a disabled one.

  5. ...or rather like I say "Dont let the (my) wheelchair (RA&OA, dv survivor) fool you! We the "disabled" learn new and amazing strengths which kinda make me feel I have an "advantage" over the "able"