The Armstrong Family Circus

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Maineville • Ohio • USA

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When there isn't much to say, say nothing at all

Monday April 3rd 2006

by Paul Armstrong
That's what I've been telling myself. Why needlessly ramble on when I have very little to say? Its not because nothing is happening, but its not as if something is happening either. "Something" has the usual ingredients of the mundane life we all ramble in, but the mundane seem to consume 80% of the recipe. Some of you have asked how things have been going with Abigail and I'm not sure what sort of report to give. There is no cure obviously, just tools of coping - and I'm not sure how one cures anything in anyone; regardless . The therapy has been helping, but therapy is a slow process. Often things become worse before it they ever get better. But there is progress. When Abigail rides her bike with her coat - unzipped - its a big thing. She learned to tie her shoe; there was some whinning and fussing but no metldown, outburst involving fists and hate speech. She's been able to tolerate much more, but she has her moments. Moment by moment and day by day it sinks in, this reality of a bearing a child with a disability. I won't try and paint it as some ultra-egalitarian special gift - its a hinderance and burden; one which she must bear her entire life (and hopefully to much lesser degree). An intangile burden. A burden that people won't understand. She'll be told to "get over it", to "just stop it". She'll be teased for moaning and rocking, for walking around stiff legged, for hoping on her feet and banging her head on the seat. She'll have pain and hurt, because of this one thing that few people will understand. There really isn't a way to prepare for it, or avoid it. Life is that way. Full of pain and hurting but our duty (as parents) isn't to shelter her, but to provide the tools for coping - giving love and confidence and support and undestadning to Abigail. There's not much comfort in that, but there is hope and faith.



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