The Boy has cerebral palsy as well as autism. And although not a degenerative condition, the effects of it worsen as he grows. And recently The Boy has become more tired, frequently taking naps at school, and his walking gait has deteriorated.
So, after speaking with Mr Teacher, the day has come. Tomorrow The Boy takes his wheelchair to school for the first time in his life. And although it's a day I knew was always on the horizon, maybe I thought it would be a few years away from now, and the reality of it has hit home and I suppose it's knocked me a bit. It's just another reminder how the future creeps up on us when we least expect it, and with it comes that fear of what else it might bring.
I remember the first visit with The Boy to the wheelchair clinic. I hated it. It was just a feeling of unbearable sadness. Alright he had a strange walk, but we got by. Yes, he became tired on long journeys. But that's what piggybacks and fireman's lifts were for. We didn't need wheelchairs. They were for other people.
Sometimes though, we put our own fears and apprehensions on our children. And that's what I have to remember. None of this is about me. The moment we walked into the wheelchair clinic, The Boy LOVED it. To him it was like the best bike shop in the world. Choosing between a Grifter or a BMX. Aluminium frames, puncture proof tyres, test drives and a technician to show you how to do a spin. He's never been able to ride a bike, apart from a three-wheeler - his wheelchair is the next best thing. And what little boy wouldn't want to take their bike to school?
So he's excited about tomorrow. He can't wait to show his wheelchair off to the other kids. He has told me the instructions for the other children - they can push him, but not without asking first. He has been practicing his spins (push one wheel forward, pull the other back, in case you were wondering), and is ready for the attention and glory. I have no doubt that he will be reclining in his seat as he is pushed around the playground waving to the admiring crowds from his very own Popemobile.
Last week when The Boy was having his meltdown day (or one of them), the Deputy Head laughingly told me that for a boy with cerebral palsy, he can't half run when he doesn't want to get caught... and I'm not suggesting for one minute that he carries on doing that, BUT...
Run like the wind my beautiful boy, run like the wind.
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.