Friday, May 13, 2011

My Inspiration

Me: “She’s very excited about the Spiderman jumping castle. I told her to be extra careful if she goes in it.”
Mr. H: “I’ll keep an eye out for her…the best I can. The kid is fearless.”

Mr. H is my daughter’s fourth grade teacher and this conversation took place earlier in the week when I dropped her off at school. Now let me give you a bit of background…The Princess was born with hemi-hydrocephaly. In plain English this means she was born missing the left side of her brain. Due to this, The Princess has had physical limitations including not being able to walk on her own until the age of 7 and limited use of her right arm, hand, and leg.
While my daughter is limited in some of her physical abilities, she is quick to try things on her own and she does this with no fear. On this particular day, the school was having a party for all of the students who met their reading goal and The Princess was eager to get into the jumping castle. As her mom, I know that jumping castles are not the safest place for any child especially one with physical limitations so I cringed inside when she proclaimed that she was going to try out the Spiderman jumping castle. My first thought was “you’re going to get hurt!” and the fear crept in. I jokingly told her, “Make sure you don’t hurt your pretty face”. She giggled and said, “Mom! Don’t be silly! I’m not going to get hurt!”
I think of the times when she was learning to walk. She tumbled, fell, and hit walls so many times I was sure that people thought I beat my child because of the bruises and scrapes she had. Every time, she would cry a bit, get back up, and try again. She has done this her entire life.

 There was the time she wanted to walk down the driveway to Tom’s truck on her own. I told her that the driveway was steep and she could trip but she insisted that she wanted to do it. She proudly walked out of the door, through the garage, and down the driveway. Halfway to the truck, I saw her feet start to drag and I just knew that she was going to fall. Sure enough, she fell to her knees and I rushed to her side. She let me help her up but pulled her hand away as I tried to walk with her the rest of the way. Stubbornly she proclaimed, “I can do it on my own, Mom” and off she went.

The Princess refuses to be told that she can’t do something and when she accomplishes her “goal”, the look of pride on her face is PRICELESS. Fear has no place in her life.
 As I sit here thinking about some of the goals I have set for myself, I have decided that I want to be exactly like my daughter.
I want to be confident.
I want to be strong-willed.
I want to be determined.
I want to be willing to keep getting up no matter how many times I fall.
I want to be fearless.


  1. The lessons our children teach us are priceless. She is truly an inspiration. I know the challenges of raising a child with a disability. I have moments of joy, and then tears at times and I wonder how we, as a family, are going to get through it all. Your baby doll has amazing parents (You and Tommy) and she absorbs what she sees. As parents, you lead your daughter by your living examples. What an amazing daughter.

  2. Thank you for sharing such sweetness with all of us! I hope she had fun in the bouncy castle! While I don't have children of my own, my husband and I own a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities and we have learned SO many life lessons from the individuals that live with us. You just never know where or when a lesson is waiting for you.

  3. That is so sweet! You should print that and give it to her later when she has a "big" moment in her life like college grad., getting married, or the birth of her Princess. We should all tell our daughters/children how very proud we are of them in such a beautiful way. Thank you for sharing.

  4. That's beautiful and I agree with Dreaming of Arnold.

    Your lil girl is TOUGH!!!! Good on her!


  5. DITTO! She is an inspiration to us all. What a concept! Simple - yet sooooo profound!

    Thank you for sharing this & give Princess a hug & kiss for us!

  6. agreeing with everyone else here....thank you so much for sharing this story!
    the many life lessons we learn from our children!!!!!
    you have an amazing daughter,and you and tom are doing an amazing job as parents...
    keep up the good work,and keep aiming high,reaching high and dreaming BIG,just like your princess does!!!!

  7. Another reason why I love your blog! Thank you for sharing that with all of us. You and your daughter are very inspiring. XOXO

  8. It is always important to remember that your daughter has watched as you have set high goals to challenge yourself, and then celebrated with you as they have been met. This is one of the reasons that your princess met her reading goal and was actually able to go to the reward party.

    The princess has been an inspiration to me this year also. I have never once seen tears in response to a bump or bruise that she has gotten due to a fall. I have seen many kids cry in response to a fall, sometimes looking for the attention that it might bring. Earlier in the year I did ask her if she ever cried when she fell and I cannot tell you how many people I have shared her response with as I will never forget it.

    She told me that her mother said that there were other more important things in our lives that we should cry about. If we fall down, as long as we can get back up, is not something that we need to cry about.

    I know from talking to princess that she considers you and your husband as her inspirations also, along with Wolverine. :o)

    Mr. H

  9. She is who she is because you are who your are. This was beautiful!

  10. Sister.
    I love this so much. Not only are YOU my inspiration but also HER. I have never been prouder of my niece... especially since she gets her superhero nerdy self from me. ;).
    What she doesn't realize is that she is a superhero herself and I am in awe of the girl she is becoming. More so... the woman YOU are becoming Tenecia. I love you beyond belief and I hope you BOTH gain the world, as you deserve nothing less. <3

  11. Such a moving post! Sounds like she really takes after you with your strength & determination!

  12. What a beautiful, inspirational post! Thanks so much for sharing!