the gift of clapping
And sometimes it’s just the simplest things in life,
That become so important,
Then become my undoing,
And highlight in an instant,
Just how much we take for granted.
While I hold close to my heart,
That despite a lack of clear speech,
He can in his compromised mix of voice and sign,
Tell me what it is he wants.
When I cannot deliver,
The knowing can feel excruciatingly worse.
As here he is,
Knocking on the door of five years of age,
The sweet innocence of a child,
Yet having always seemingly held more confidence,
And been more capable of dealing,
With the things he cannot do,
Or may never posses,
With tears welling his beautiful dark eyes,
Why can’t I clap?
Why isn’t it working Mummy?
And not just the act of one semi open hand,
Connecting with a virtually closed fist,
But a palm to palm slap,
With the ringing out of that distinct thwack,
All too familiar to us,
All too readily available,
So incorporated into our society,
And he wants it.
And my heart breaks just a little bit more,
At such a humble request.
And breaks further at not being able to just give it to him.
For he may as well be asking me to cure him of CP,
Because however seemingly small this act,
It’s just as far out of reach.
And I can see his devastation.
And it rattles me to my core.
We help him create the sound by “clapping” one hand to his bare knee,
And while brings him some joy,
Just doesn’t cut it.
He knows it’s just not the same.
And I feel like this is the first time he’s stood outside of himself,
And questioned why he can’t do something,
And the let down is real.
The realisation stings,
And while I vow to continue to help him,
Whatever it takes,
To work towards achieving it,
It cuts deeper,
Symbolic in some way,
Of how I never want him to feel,
Ever in his life,
But I know I cannot promise that,
I cannot take it all on for him,
So he won’t have to,
Only time will tell,
Just how he manages to wade through his own murky journey,
Either turning it into sunshine or mud,
And how he tackles this life.
But for now I weep,
Because all I want more than anything,
Is to give him the gift of clapping.
And to make sure the smile,
Never fades from his eyes.