Friday, January 22, 2010

Look outside the shoe

I first saw Jessica Cox on TV and like everyone else who saw her, I admired how she went beyond her disability – she was born without arms – and did stuff that not every able-bodied person could do. Like fly a plane. Or surf. I don’t even apply makeup with the same expertise that she does and yet I have hands. She does so with her feet. 

Anyway, I viewed that segment on that early morning news program with the same detachment that I view novelty shows. Entertaining, yes, but not really relevant.

And then I had the chance to see her when she was invited as one of the motivational speakers in a conference that our company hosted for its employees.

What struck me was that she was very normal. She made everything seem normal. And yet you couldn’t forget that she had no arms because it was just staring you in the face. She was just so self-sufficient and unself-conscious about her disability (she prefers to call it condition) that to dwell on it would make one seem rather patronizing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On her own

Last December, my six-year-old daughter received a very nice door sign - you know, the one you usually find in hotels that are attached to the door knob, saying something like "Do not disturb" or "Please clean room"?

Well, hers was different because it was wooden and had a provision for a pen and a memo pad.  I thought that would be the first and last time I'd see it until I came home one day and saw it hanging on our bedroom door.  On it, she wrote:  "Keep out.  Only Mommy and Daddy can enter."  

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What's with the tabo???

When a new group moved into our floor, the first thing that struck us was how different they were from us.

There were a lot of females, and they seemed to go to the toilet and the pantry in groups. They were a noisy lot too. It seemed normal for them to be conversing while inside the urinal too.

I learned to put up with the noise, the mess in the pantry and generally avoided the lunchtime crowd that gathered there to get water or heat their food. But what I could not avoid was the tabo.