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Last week Sebastian was sitting in his wheelchair when he realized that he was close enough to me to reach out with his toes and tap my leg. I asked what he was doing and he said that it wasn't him, it was a bad shark biting me.
I realized that the "bad shark" was the surgery leg and had mixed emotions. I was actually kind of happy that he was using it to "bite" me because it was nice to see that he wasn't babying it, but I didn't and still don't like the thought of him thinking of it as "bad".
I asked why it had to be a bad shark and he told me not to worry cause a "good" shark was going to save me. Then he used his other foot to move the "bad" shark out of the way.
I should have had some wise and wonderful thing to say to him. Something that he would always remember. Something that would have instantly made him smile.
Instead, I just sat there in sadness for a moment and wondered if he realized the symbolism between the sharks and his feet. When I finally spoke I simply said, "I don't think that's a bad shark at all. I think it's the most perfectly straight foot I've ever seen."
His response---"No, it's a shark."
Lately, Sebastian has been getting fidgety in his wheelchair. He wants out of it and there have been times when I've been afraid that he'll fidget his way right out of the chair and onto the floor. Do you have any idea how it feels to be proud and frightened all at the same time?
We've been getting ready for our Kindergarten promotion ceremony that takes place on Monday morning and Sebastian sadly told me that he didn't think he could go on the stage. I assured him that I would make sure he got onto the stage.
This morning we went over to the big cafeteria to practice and when it was time for my class to take the stage I carried him up the stairs while the other teachers lifted the wheelchair onto the stage for me. I placed him back into the wheelchair and he sang with the rest of the class. Then I carried him off the stage while the wheelchair was lowered to the floor. He was proud and I was happy and everyone clapped louder for my class than they did for the other classes.
After we finished with practice, Sebastian's mom checked him out for a doctor's apointment. He now has a brace on his leg. The brace that will make it possible for him to walk while his leg continues to heal and grow stronger. The brace that he has been excitedly waiting to get.
I heard from his mom who said that he has the brace, but won't walk because he is afraid. He is afraid it will hurt.
Again, I wanted something wise and wonderful to say and again the right words failed me.
Hours have gone by and I don't know if he's walked yet or not. I don't know if he'll walk into class tomorrow or if he'll ride in on his wheelchair. All I know is that whether it's true or not, I want to tell him that sometimes even Spiderman gets scared. He gets scared and it's ok. It's ok if you get scared too.
Take the first step!
There may be pain ~ there will probably be pain. You may even fall a time or two, but you've felt pain and fallen before. You know how to pick yourself up.
You know that there are races to run, dances to dance and bridges to cross. You have done all of these things before and you will do them again, but you have to take that first step.
Take the first step!