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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Recently, my nephews Matthew (who is 4 years old) and Chris (just 18 months old) came for a short visit in Malta. The experience was a positive one because it brought about aspects of myself that I rarely see. A good side of me of course – my inner child. Before saying that this should come naturally to me … given that I’m an ‘eternal child’, I can assure you that that’s a myth. But that deserves another post altogether …

This post is really about the resourcefulness of children in new situations… and how an adaptive device can turn into a lethal weapon...

Two examples:

Four-year-old nephew Matthew decided that my walking stick was a shotgun. Whilst I don’t condone any form of violence and aggression… the game was simple. He practiced target practice. And the target… me of course! I’m lucky to be alive after that but I managed to disarm the little bandit.

Well, the second instance involves my office chair, which I like to use indoors. My nephews were literally fighting to hitch a ride on it across the room. Obviously, at the time I was sitting elsewhere and not crawling on the floor…

And these demonstrate that it’s not true that kids won’t relate to disabled people. And whilst my eighteen-month-old nephew Chris still eyes me with suspicion when on my wheelchair, I think I have bonded well with Matthew. He does make fun of me, yes, but so far he has never mentioned my non-walking lifestyle. Yet.

I know that my nephews know that I’m somewhat different from my other brothers and sister. But the thing is … he doesn’t make it a point to treat me any differently. For Matthew, especially, I think that having a disabled uncle is not such a big deal. But I know that there will be a point in the future when one of them will ask about it.

So when one of them approaches me and asks:

”Why can’t you walk?”

I hope to be prepared with an answer. Without shame or fear that my nephew will suddenly become afraid of me … besides, at least he’d ask me for an answer…

And yes, until the next time they’ll be coming, I’ll be missing them a lot!!!