Monday, May 14, 2012

I Am the Child

I am the child who cannot talk.
You often pity me, I see it in your eyes.
You wonder how much I am aware of -- I see that as well.
I am aware of much, whether you are happy or sad or fearful,
patient or impatient, full of love and desire,
or if you are just doing your duty by me.
I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater,
for I cannot express myself or my needs as you do.

You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times.
I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated.
I do not give you answers to your everyday questions,
responses over my well-being, sharing my needs,
or comments about the world about me.

I do not give you rewards as defined by the world's standards -- great strides in
development that you can credit yourself;
  I do not give you understanding as you know it.
What I give you is so much more valuable -- I give you instead opportunities.
Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine;
the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities;
the opportunity to explore your spirit more deeply than you imagined possible.
I drive you further than you would ever go on your own, working harder,
seeking answers to your many questions with no answers.
I am the child who cannot talk.

I am the child who cannot walk.
The world seems to pass me by.
You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair, to run and play like other children.
There is much you take for granted.
I want the toys on the shelf, I need to go to the bathroom, oh I've dropped my fork again.
I am dependent on you in these ways.
My gift to you is to make you more aware of your great fortune,
your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself.
Sometimes people appear not to notice me; I always notice them.
I feel not so much envy as desire, desire to stand upright,
to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent.
I give you awareness.
I am the child who cannot walk.

I am the child who is mentally impaired.
I don't learn easily, if you judge me by the world's measuring stick,
what I do know is infinite joy in simple things.
I am not burdened as you are with the strife's and conflicts of a more complicated life.
My gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child,
to teach you how much your arms around me mean, to give you love.
I give you the gift of simplicity.
I am the child who is mentally impaired.

I am the disabled child.
I am your teacher. If you allow me,
I will teach you what is really important in life.
I will give you and teach you unconditional love.
I gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you.
I teach you about how precious this life is and about not taking things for granted.
I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams.
I teach you giving.
Most of all I teach you hope and faith.
I am the disabled child.

~ Author Unknown


I remember seeing this floating around within the first year after Aviana's accident. At the time,  I couldn't fully grasp it enough to post. I do now.

You are our most amazing child Aviana. Thank you for all you teach us sweetheart!

We love you infinitely.


  1. I have been following your journey from the beginning. It is so amazing to see how you have grown to the place where you are now. I praise the Lord for where you are now ministering to others; I doubt you even realize it. I am thrilled that Avi is loving school and that you are happy with it. I just knew it would open up a whole new life for both of you. Your decision to stop the Institute structure was exactly right; I admired you so much for at least trying it. We do anything we think would help our children. Praying for your family. Vicki Reed in Memphis

  2. Hi Jen,

    I tried to email you but my email bounced back, so forgive me for responding to your comments on my blog (gillianb-journeying) here, when really this should be reserved for comments on your own journey!

    I have not replied to many comments over the past year, I think maybe three in total, but how could I not respond to the abundant and uplifting comments you left on my last post? I just wanted to say that I was both overwhelmed and incredibly blessed by your thoughts and encouragement. My heart broke when I read about your little girl and the path you now walk being her parents and loving her with all your heart. And yet your own journey is filled with nuggets of gold that make us all believe that maybe, just maybe, our's can be too.

    Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to write, for seeing the best in me and my mental wanderings, for laughing with me and crying in what I suspect are all the right places. It made a difference, it really did. And if, by some miracle, I ever need a're hired!

    I look forward to reading more about your journey and seeing the pictures of your gorgeous little girl (her eyes captivate me!)

    Blessings to you and your family,

    Gillian Berg