forecast for our children
And then he’s two.
Two whole years of Isaac.
A bitter sweet day,
As I imagine it to be for the rest of my life.
Two frightens me,
Loaded with external expectation,
From a system seemingly out of touch,
Yet yielding so much power,
Turning their noses down at alternative approaches,
Defensive of being challenged.
And despite your greatest intentions,
You keel over to,
And which my growing confidence in the disconnect, the lacking,
Still cannot stand up to.
Because what if I’m wrong?
And I suddenly feel I’m staring down the wrong end of the barrel,
As assessments loom,
And scores stand waiting.
Ready to feed my paranoia,
And slap out my optimism.
Scarring my conscience,
And invoking panic and fear.
To rate my son,
To give him a number,
To tick the boxes –
Why? I ask –
It seems all they know.
At some point,
Someone thought it a good idea to categorise,
Against each other,
Many moons ago,
As some kind of prediction for their future.
And yet of no benefit for anyone.
Except the system.
Because alongside that number,
Does not follow the care plan to break beyond it,
But the accommodations to satisfy their paper trail.
Isaac has many numbers,
He’s 2 years old,
He’s my 1 child,
He’s 9.8 kilograms heavy,
He’s 81 centimeters tall,
He’s head circumference is 45 centimeters.
What he isn’t is a number to a classification,
For which no purposeful meaning can be found,
And all that trails behind are the tears of parents with broken dreams.
Without emphasis or recognition to therapy,
Without understanding movement as a unity,
With an archaic look at age marking some imaginary finish line for progress,
Without providing consistent hands-on treatment,
Without instigating a child’s self belief to do not be done to –
How could this possibly be the forecast for our children?
For no matter the score they generate,
Our child still has Cerebral Palsy,
Our child still tally’s higher in our eyes than any others,
The heartache is still ever present,
The what-ifs remain,
The guilt festers,
The reality is ours not theirs
And more importantly of all,
What can a child do with a rating?
A number on a scale?
Nothing past having the expectation of them stilted,
Before they can prove you wrong,
As it’s a system set out to pave their path for them before they ever have the chance to tell you – actually I’m going the other way.
Surrounding them with a preconceived notion of who they can become.
As our practitioner laughs off the lunacy,
Yet painfully aware of the battle parents face up against the system.
Passing me yet another tissue to dab my welling eyes.
For most part we are trapped,
In fear of doing the wrong thing by our child,
In fear of separating from an established corporate,
Which still holds all the authority,
Because what if I can’t get what my child needs if I walk away entirely?
We just cannot win.
And so we stay,
Tangled in a web of contradiction,
Being pulled by force in opposing directions.
Moshe would still be scoffing with disrepute,
And asking us all to scrape the inconsequential from our children’s lives,
And give faith to a greater ability lying within all of us,
Should we foster the right path in getting there.
It’s just so unfair it’s not that straight forward,
Or that we don’t get the support to figure it out,
And be celebrated for reaching beyond their reckonings,
But chastised for pushing against their flow.
It’s harder than we can almost bare,
And I make a wish as the candles blown out,
To find the answers to make it all OK.
Happy birthday dear Isaac.