Who invented Lacrosse anyway?
When is it ok to just say that things kind of suck and are not going the way you wanted them to go? Or, do we have to look on the bright side all the time?
Take the whole cerebral palsy thing. It turns out, as Max’s new psychologist seems to think, we have spent too much time making Max think that everything is ok when in fact it blows. Having CP sucks and there comes a time in your life when you have to accept what you can’t and will never do and grieve for it. Stupid us, we thought we were supposed to boost him up and make him think he can do anything. Apparently, that backfired and he actually thinks he CAN do anything. Later, or now, when he realizes he can’t he is going to be pissed off… and it will probably be at me, the guilty jewish mother that I am.
So, the thing is – a kid with CP has to be positive enough to not give up on anything, but resigned enough to accept what he can’t do. How on earth is that possible? As if life weren’t hard enough for a left-handed boy with CP, he has to manage to be hopeful AND hopeless at the same time.
Poor Max – I fear he is too capable to be a successful disabled person. He can do so many things and do them well enough for everyone, including himself, to think that he is “regular.” The problem is that no one, not even us, realizes the toll it takes being so capable all the time. When the fact that Max has a significant disability rears its head, as it does at various intervals every year, it kind of takes us by surprise. I get that painful epiphany, usually while driving somewhere, that the CP is angry and wants some attention. It is like a jealous ex-boyfriend. As soon as it hears us getting cozy without it, it starts coming around again.
Max has been sick – sick – sick – all winter. He is weaker and more fragile than he has been in long time. He is bummed out, stressed out, tired, miserable and a lot of the time his body just hurts. He is lonely and bored and tired of playing the same old games. He is sick and tired of being sick and tired. None of this would be unusual if he were 82, but he is 10.
The problem is, we just never know which way to go… full speed ahead with negativity blinders on, or bury yourself under the covers and have a pity party.
Every once in a while, there is something that is just plain obvious. Take lacrosse – being played in gym class this month – for instance. Who made up this game for freaks anyway? Take a ball and catch it inside a tiny net, jiggle it and rock it like a baby making sure it doesn’t fall out, while you run, holding a giant stick in front of your face, really fas. Then somehow, at exactly the right moment, toss the ball out of the basket to someone else who is also running with a stick in front of his face who has to catch it never stopping for a minute. Max has enough trouble just walking let alone running while carrying a giant stick with a baby ball swaddled inside. I’m thinking that even Max realizes this will not be easy to pull off.
Truthfully, accepting that you are not going to play lacrosse or hockey (another stick problem we encountered recently) is not that complicated or important really. However, accepting that at 10, there will be many times in your life when you are going to feel like you are 82 is not so easy. This is where the real tragedy lies.