Recently our family has made it a point to have family movie night (where even I put down my computer gasp ;)). Recently we watched the movie Forrest Gump (one of my favorite movies). My son laughed throughout the movie and afterwards said he really enjoyed it. We said good night and everyone went to bed or so I thought. Sometime in the night my little one crawled in beside me and woke me with a question.
“Momma were kids mean to you because of your cerebral palsy (leg braces) and left arm curled up?” Wow umm didn’t think I’d have to explain this to my child in the middle of the night. However I was honest with him.
Many of my readers know I have cerebral palsy which has required me to wear leg braces and arm braces of various sizes and lengths ever since I was 10 months old. I am proud to say I was a Shriners Kid! Years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy have helped me to the point that when I wear jeans, most people do not even know the struggle I have fought. However that was not always the case.
When I was in elementary school, the kids were very cruel to me, mostly in the 4th – 6th grade. They would call me names, laugh and point at me, and would not let me play with them. One was so cruel that he broke my arm! Till this day I still remember EVERY single one of their names.
As I got older though, I made some great friends, and high school was awesome even a safe haven of sorts for me. I had a few big brothers who NEVER let the few bullies in high school bother her. The two who were always close by were Brian L , who would simply give a bully “that look” and they would back off, Brian later in life fought his own health battles and overcame them. The other young man who protected me in high school was Ricky H. He always turned my frown into a smile. He told me never to listen to the people who were mean, as I was a beautiful young lady who was going places. This gentleman is now a decorated member of our Armed Forces and a father of two beautiful little girls. To this day, I am thankful for these friends.
When I got into college I had a ton of big brothers. They were the entire Georgia Southern University football team. I was a football manager for the wide receivers. My wide receivers were very protective of me. On my first date in college, they were all in the dorm lobby with their arms crossed as I got into my dates truck. Till this day I still smile when I think of them being so protective of “their football manager Melissa” I still talk to a majority of my protective big brothers even after 12 years!