I was so thrilled when the Phoenix, Arizona therapy agency sent a man to be the boys' occupational therapist. Don't get me wrong -- we had had some amazing wonderful women in their 16 years of therapy. Women who held my hand in those early years; women who cried with me when we realized things were not going to come easily; women who pushed with me when the boys needed to reach the next milestone. I know with certainty that Susan, Tonya, Laura, Kim, Rose, Tami, Barb, and so many others shaped me as a mother through their attitudes and belief in my boys as we wrestled with diagnoses, surgeries, setbacks, and milestones. I know.
But now I had two almost-16-year-olds and I thought perhaps a guy could motivate them to push through some of the fine motor struggles. I was hopeful.
He had only been providing therapy a few months when he showed up late. I explained we couldn't stay late that day because we had the triplets' first college tour scheduled for immediately following therapy. He abruptly turned his head to me and said, "College?" And I nodded. To which he looked at Benjamin and Mason and said, "Really? They will be able to go to college? How will that work?"
I opened the door and showed him the way out.
You may have already heard that story. I find the need to repeat it every semester about this time. And today, I am repeating it at the end of my triplets' FOURTH college semester. Fourth!
See, not only CAN those kiddos of mine GO to college -- they can excel!
Benjamin is in the middle of performing in Belhaven University's production of "Music Man."
He is performing every night, while still going to classes, writing scripts, short stories, and political science essays. He is performing every night while still studying for exams and preparing for the end-of-semester rush.
During his Fall semester, he added a class to his already full load. I will admit to being a bit concerned for his endurance taking such a huge class load. Can I tell you that at the end of that semester, I received a letter from the president of his university commending him on being one of 83 students in accomplishing a 4.0 that semester. He doesn't just go to college -- he thrives at college.
And Mason, well Mason was just given the Greek Award -- no not for anything related to his fraternity. He was given the award for having the highest GPA in GREEK class! Greek.
So today, my boys (and their amazing sisters) would tell you they aren't doing anything spectacular. They are simply going to class, doing the work, and studying hard. But I know. I know that what they are really doing is far far bigger. They are re-coloring the book. They are re-mapping the roads. They are re-defining what it means to live with cerebral palsy.
And hopefully, somewhere a male occupational therapist is taking notes and being educated. And learning that CP does not stop us from reaching our dreams.