When I was a little girl, I used to dream of having my own horse. I wanted to go on trail rides, I wanted to jump and gallop. I wanted to brush my horse, feed it and yes…even clean out its stall.
My parents were hesitant about my adament pestering for horse riding lessons. Horse riding takes a notable amount of leg strength. They worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it. They worried that it would cause more issues. Plus, it’s an expensive hobby that none of my sisters’ got to do.
I did have a few friends who had horses and experience with them. My friend Paige had a birthday party at a stable once, and we all got to ride the horses around the stadium. It was so much fun. I remember meeting a gorgeous white horse with a gray tail and mane. She felt like velvet under my fingers. My other friend Erin let me ride her horse too. Both times, someone held the reins.
I used to think, when I have kids…I won’t bubble them. I’ll do everything I can to make sure they at least get to try out their dreams. I’ll do everything I can to make sure that they stick to it if they love it.
Now that I’m a mom of two beautiful little boys who both have the same chronic pain bone disorder I have
…I can see how complicated those wishes are. I can see how and why my parents would want to shelter me from anything that may bring me extra pain. I was already in so much of it. Watching your child be in pain is not easy. You can’t do anything about it. You can’t take it away, you can’t make the medicine work any quicker.
I still vowed that I would let them try. I wouldn’t decide something was too dangerous, too much, without first letting them see for themselves. I worry that enrolling Nolan and Archer in sports will bring more bad pain days, bad pain days that break my heart, but at least they’ll get to do them. Some kids never even get that…and the few memories I have of riding horses even with someone else holding the reins are so precious to me.
It’s difficult, raising children with disabilities. On the one hand…you want to protect them from anything that could hurt them [more]. You’re the parent, you have to decide what’s too dangerous or risky. On the other hand…you don’t want to clip their wings. You don’t want to tell them that they can’t do something when maybe they can. Maybe they’ll enjoy it so much, the extra pain won’t matter.