I worked as a home health nurse for children. Every child I cared for was precious to me, but one particular young man had a special place in my heart. He was ten years old when I met him and lived with his grandmother, father, and uncles.
I cared for him at night time and brought soda, donuts, and movies for us to enjoy until wee hours of the mornings. We played checkers and other board games on the floor of his bedroom. He loved “Angels in the Outfield” and “Richie Rich” movies as well as others.
We became very good friends and we invited him along for fun during the daytime hours. He had a condition that made his legs too weak to walk so he was wheelchair bound. When we went places, I would pick him up, transfer him to the car, and put the wheelchair in the trunk. Everything is portable. We went to movies and stores. One day we decided to go to a park called “Swings and Things.” There were go- carts, bumper boats, and putt putt golf for kids to enjoy.
He was unable to push the gas pedal in the go – carts and they were too small for both of us to sit in, but we had a blast in the bumper boats. I carried him into the boat- a small rubber water craft in a little pool- and sat next to him. I held him safely the entire time. As my step daughter ‘bumped’ into us with her bumper boat, this little boy threw his head back and laughed so much his belly shook.
After the bumper boats, I placed him in his wheelchair, and we headed to the putting greens. I have never been a fan of golf, but am a great lover of putt putt. As we made our way through each of the greens, I noticed that when he putted, my step daughter placed her putter in front of his hole- blocking his putt from going into the hole. I was astounded, I said, ‘You do realize he’s in a wheelchair?’ She didn’t care, she kept doing it.
Then when she putted, he wheeled closely to the hole and blocked her putt with his putter. I was exasperated. I said, ‘You both are terrible, I have some news, we are NOT keeping score any longer. If you each have to win so badly you do this to each other, we will not keep score.’ That worked. They stopped sabotaging each others’ putts and we had fun finishing our putting. We had some lunch and finished our fun day.
I realized I was glad she never seemed to see the wheelchair, she just treated him like a regular boy. He appreciated that.
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