Years ago, a child asked me what I wished.
Back then I never put much thought into wishes – at least not wishes I’d tell a child – so I said I didn’t know.
The child wondered out loud why I wouldn’t wish my legs worked right.
The truth is I had put a little thought into what my life might be if cerebral palsy wasn’t part of it.
I tried not to think about it too much, though, because most of those thoughts led to dark, cobwebbed corners of my mind.
Those places were perfect for personal pity parties, which I never liked to have because I think I’ve always been hardwired to hate pity.
I’ve never been good at pity parties.
I usually sat with my eyes pointed toward the stars, like the ones I sat under to write most of this, and I asked God a bunch of questions about things I thought cerebral palsy took away.
When I was young I asked Him childish things like why I couldn’t make my left hand work like I wanted it to, why it took me so long to be able to tie my shoes, why I couldn’t blow a bubble or why didn’t have the balance to learn to ride a bicycle like other kids.
When I got older I questioned why I’d never be able to play football with my friends on Friday nights or why it looked like I’d never have a real shot with the girls.
They say in life you play the hand you’re dealt.
I think it’s human nature to ask God questions about your cards sometimes, and I think He understands.
Something happens to me when I stare at the stars, especially when I have one of my patented personal pity parties.
I start to feel pretty small.
I guess it’s because, on most nights, I can see only about hundred stars from where I sit and second guess the God who guides galaxies.
It’s taken longer than it should have for me to accept God knows what He’s doing and He has his reasons for the hand He dealt, but I’ve started to figure out I can see only part of a picture a lot bigger than me.
It took a second, but I came up with an answer when I was asked why I wouldn’t wish my legs worked right.
It wouldn’t be normal.
I don’t know what it would be like to be able to balance long enough to ride a bicycle.
I have no idea what it feels like to ride down the road with my feet propped up on a dashboard.
I’ve never pushed a lawn mower in a straight line in my life.
My normal is different from everybody else’s, but if you think about it so is yours.
We are all different.
We’re all different parts of a priceless picture drawn by the hand which hung the stars we wish upon.
I try not to have pity parties anymore, but sometimes I still wish for things and sometimes I still ask questions.
I still feel small when I look up at the stars.
I try not think much about what cerebral palsy might take away, but I do try to think more about what I’ve been given.
I’m sure if I took the time to write down every blessing I have, they’d outnumber the stars I stared at while I wrote these words.
I’m sure if I focused more on the list of blessings I could write I’d gripe less about the cards I carry, because the truth is I’ve been dealt a great hand.