Category: Marriage & Family Life

From Standing to Sitting – How Parenting Toddlers Has Changed with My Injury

From my faded C-section scar to my newly found first grey hair to the ridiculous number of unmatched children’s socks scattered around my house, it is fairly obvious that I am not new at the mom-game. Parenting is full of stages – all different and all difficult! With every birthday our children celebrate it is like we, as parents, advance on to the next level. I felt like we ‘levelled up’ big time with the start of Kindergarten and the school routine (I hear it happens again around puberty so that is something to look forward to). But before school came the toddler stage. I have managed to get through it twice relatively unscathed. But I just have to say that parenting a toddler from a wheelchair belongs to an entirely different realm of childrearing than anything else I’ve experienced. Continue reading “From Standing to Sitting – How Parenting Toddlers Has Changed with My Injury”

Finding Christmas in My Recalculated Life

Christmas is gearing up around my house and I’m pretty excited about it. Honestly, I love everything about the holidays. From the anticipation to the decorating to the traditions to the music, it’s the time of year that I feel the most grounded. For six weeks or so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect out of life; it is predictable and it is comforting. So yes, I am one of those people who breaks out the Christmas songs and decorations in November because it allows me to breathe. I can think to myself “OK, we did it. We made it to another Christmas”. With all of the change that has happened, the holidays are still familiar and welcoming; a feeling of coming home again. And even though I still get so much joy out of this season, I can’t help but feel moments of loss as well for all of the reasons that my favourite time of year is now different. Continue reading “Finding Christmas in My Recalculated Life”

Recapturing Lost Moments

Recapturing Lost Moments

When you have children, there are a countless number of firsts. As parents, we carefully document every first as though our little ones’ childhoods depend on knowing the exact date that they first smiled. We track everything from their first teeth to their first steps to their first day of school. I find it sort of funny that we tend to document the firsts of things that will continue on for a lifetime but neglect to document the firsts of childhood and parenthood that are more temporary: the first time we hold hands, the first time our child falls asleep in our arms, the first time we carry our child on our hip. Unlike a smile that will (hopefully) last a lifetime, these are the things that will inevitably end. The part that breaks my heart is that most of these “mommy and me” moments end without warning – we never know which time will be the last time. For me, some of these things ended earlier than anticipated. Continue reading “Recapturing Lost Moments”

Mommy Is Still Mommy – How Our Children Have Coped with My Spinal Cord Injury

Every year I dread Labour Day and the blunt transition it brings: summer vacation to the school year. On the last Monday of summer holidays, as I was getting my boys ready for bed, that all too familiar feeling of bewilderment crept up on me as I thought about how quickly they are growing up. They are beginning to leave interests and other aspects of their younger years behind them. I have mixed feelings of excitement, trepidation and longing as I think about the new school year. I’m excited for the adventures they have yet to embark on but I’m nervous that they will stumble down the wrong path. I long for the simple days of toddlerhood, which admittedly were not without many challenges, but I was more in control of their worlds and what they were exposed to. Their questions could be answered simply without the constant noise of the world around them and the knowledge that quickly comes to them when they have the ability to read. But as I sang them a song before bed, the same song I have sung them almost every night since they were born, I started to think about the small amount of time they have been here on this earth and how much life they have already lived. When I think about the challenges these two boys – at six and seven years old – have already overcome, and the way all three of my children have handled themselves since my accident, I find myself amazed by their resilience and capability. And I realize my children have taught me about what is truly important in life and what is truly important in people. Continue reading “Mommy Is Still Mommy – How Our Children Have Coped with My Spinal Cord Injury”

Our Summer Mountain Getaway

Life is busy and I think everyone looks forward to an escape. Travel was the furthest thing from my mind for many weeks after my injury. Initially, I assumed that it would be too difficult to travel with a wheelchair and a spinal cord injury. What I have learned about travelling in the almost 18 months since my accident is that it is different and there is more planning involved, but it is most definitely not impossible and can still be awesome. I have travelled by boat, plane and car since my accident and while we come up against big and small hurdles almost everywhere we go, there hasn’t been much we haven’t been able to overcome. Continue reading “Our Summer Mountain Getaway”

The World of Disabilities in Relationships

When you are in a long-term relationship there are numerous stages or milestones you will reach together. Many of them are expected – some we anticipate with excitement, others with dread. Then there are obstacles we come up against that are not part of the plan. These issues were on the list of things that could happen but maybe (hopefully) they wouldn’t happen to us: infertility, infidelity, physical trauma, and disease. The journey that Ian and I have been on since my spinal cord injury has been one that even my anxious imagination could not have invented. We have been tested and our eyes have been opened to an entire world that we didn’t really know existed: the world of disability in romantic relationships. Continue reading “The World of Disabilities in Relationships”

My Accessible Beach Day

Our most recent trip to the beach was much more inclusive for me than the one I wrote about a couple of weeks ago here. I felt defeated and a bit heartbroken after that trip to the beach and I wanted to see if there was a way to be more involved. I know a beach day now will never be as it was before my spinal cord injury, but I had hope that it could be better.

After a quick Google search I found a few small articles that pointed me in the direction of Feral Boardsports on Marine Drive in White Rock, British Columbia. I couldn’t find a lot of info, but it looked like there was a beach wheelchair available. I phoned the store on the morning we were planning to go to White Rock and was excited when they confirmed that they had two beach wheelchairs available by donation. Continue reading “My Accessible Beach Day”

Finding the Happy in What I Have

Summer is in full swing around here. We had an exceptionally snowy winter and a very wet spring, so to say I was looking forward to some dry warm weather would be an understatement. Summer in British Columbia is a beautiful thing – there are lakes, trails, beaches, long days and beautiful sunsets. It truly takes just one sunny day in BC to make up for the days upon days of rain we endure. Last summer my injury was still very new and most of our summer was spent simply trying to figure out this new life and how to be back at home. We didn’t venture out much or attempt many of our usual summer activities. We didn’t so much enjoy last summer as we did survive it. I wanted to enjoy this summer. I wanted to live in the moment.  Continue reading “Finding the Happy in What I Have”

The Child Paralysis Stole From Me

I often play back my life like a slideshow – moments upon moments of what makes up my story all waiting to be put together for when I choose to reminisce. The slideshow I play inside my head changes with each part of my journey I recollect. The emotions that they arouse are varied and can change depending on the season of life I’m currently in. In many scenarios, my accident is a part of that slideshow – it changed my life forever and is a tough detail to overlook. In most cases I can include that crazy turn of events and move past it into the life that has unfolded since. I can see good in my life and recognize my accident as a major event but not an ending. However, there are a few scenarios where my slideshow stops abruptly – a few scenarios where I get stuck in my post-accident haze and place blame for certain things it took away from me. Recently one thing in particular has been at the forefront of my thoughts: baby number four. Continue reading “The Child Paralysis Stole From Me”