Safe or Independent?

So this happened.

The Boy fell in the bathroom and knocked out chunks of his two front teeth.

Best of all, this is the fourth time this has happened. Once at the amusement park. Twice in the driveway. And now this.

If you think about it, that’s not too surprising. One of the deals with Cerebral Palsy is a heightened startle reflex, including drawing the hands up to the chest. So when he falls, he leads with his face. 


Fortunately, Dr. Murchie is an awesome tooth reconstructor. And a good friend.

We were talking with The Boy’s physical therapist about this, and things we could do to minimize dangerous falls. Her advice? Better supervision. She told The Boy that he shouldn’t try to stand up or reach for stuff without an adult present.

But I have a problem with that.

Something about the idea of The Boy not pushing himself unless an adult is there seems like it robs him of his independence.

How is he going to be a risk-taker (a quality I value) if he isn’t even allowed to try standing up by himself?

How’s he going to feel that great sense of accomplishment if he’s always closely supervised?

At the same time, man, it’s hard to hold him when he’s screaming and bleeding, and I can’t do much about it.

So there’s this tension between safety and independence. And the sweet spot moves day by day, if not minute by minute.

With The Boy, the risks seem higher. We’re hoping the rewards are bigger, too. Even if they only look like standing up.

Through the Roof

A Blog Supported by the Mosaic ministry of Third Church, ECO

"Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on." (Mark 2:3-4)

About: This is a blog about accessibility, intimacy, and community. About being welcome.  It’s also about bringing up The Boy. He's 11 years old and has cerebral palsy. Also popping up are The TeenGirl, who just turned 13, and The Mom, who is awesome. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.