Tonight Cassie and I are spending the night at a local hotel with Cassie’s girl scout troop. It is an end of the year type party using some of the money that they raised selling cookies. Due got he fact that Cassie needs assistance with things, I volunteered to be the chaperone. Lucky me! Swimming, movie, snacks, and hopefully a little bit of sleeping is on the schedule.
Here is where the story really begins.
So we get to the hotel and wait for all the other girls to arrive and then everyone gets ready to swim. Cassie is in her suit and get-up that includes socks to protect her feet and knit pants to protect her knees when she crawls around a bit.
The problem is that when Cassie wants to swim she can’t wear her braces, which in turn means that she can’t walk. See the problem? Swim – no walk. Walk – no swim.
We head out to the pool and everyone jumps in and starts playing. Cassie slides in and of course I get nervous because she can’t swim (we will be working on that this summer) and she ‘walks’ around but could easily lose her balance and… let’s not to into the million bad things that swim around in my head.
Shortly after being in the water she shows me that she already has a hole in her BRAND NEW socks and to top it off she has scraped skin off the top of her foot. She is bleeding. With regret, I tell Cassie that we have to get out of the pool. There are some extenuating circumstances as well, but the point is pool time is over.
Cassie is crushed and I feel horrible. What else can I do though?
I help get her changed and try to console her when she breaks down a couple times. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change things or make this better. The hand she has been dealt in life has it’s definite drawbacks.
She decides that she wants to watch tv and I really can’t say no at this point. Her friends are all splashing around in the pool and she can’t be part of it.
I make a call to Andy and he arrives a while later with our first aid box filled with all the things I need to care for Cassie’s foot. Trust me, we’ve done this several times before. I clean and batch the foot and Andy heads out.
I follow to talk to him a bit and this is where I lose my shit some. I tell him about how Cassie was upset and I felt horrible and….well, I feel like it is my fault.
When Cassie was first born I blamed myself for her having Spina Bifida. I must have done something wrong. Screwed up somewhere along the line. Was I being punished? How could I have done this to my baby?
I’ve since pushed this out of my mind and instead taken on the mindset that God chose me to watch over her, that I will only be given what I can handle, and that there is a reason this all happened.
Most of the time I can keep a positive mind and believe this. However, at moments (especially like this) I feel like I have done this to her. I am causing all this pain to her. Why couldn’t she just be like everyone else? Running and jumping and being a “normal” kid. Why did I have to screw things up? What did I do to hurt her this way?
Yes, I’m teaching her to be strong and proud of herself. I tell her that she was born this way for a reason, we just don’t know the reason. I show her ways she can accomplish things and want to make her as independent as humanly possible.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel responsible for things from time to time. I just want her to be happy. Is that too much to ask?