A Child's First Taste Of Independence

Content via Disabled Parenting Project
Disabled Parenting Project


dad with osteogenesis imperfecta in a manual wheelchair and his daughter standing next to him

Adam has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and for the past 5 years, he has been a frequent patron of a bakery near his house. And he usually can be found there with his “tiny entourage in tow” – his two young children. Regardless of the occasion, the delicious treats offered are sure to satisfy them. Being such huge fans, the bakery is thus dearly known to them as: “the donut shop.”

Of course, being such loyal customers, the staff has also gotten to recognize and know them over time. All of these made for a memorable experience one Friday afternoon at the donut shop between Adam and his 6-year-old daughter, Hannah. 

That day, Adam was in-charge of picking Hannah up from school. Once Hannah was strapped into the car, Adam was promptly reminded by her of a promise he made earlier – “a trip to the donut shop for getting up and out of bed so quickly that morning.” However, Adam had forgotten about it, and had not loaded his wheelchair in the car due to shoulder pains.

He presented two options to Hannah: the first was going home to pick up his wheelchair before heading to the donut shop; the second was to let Hannah go in the donut shop herself and make her own purchase. Without much hesitation, Hannah chose the latter choice, and thus, her first adventure at being independent had begun!

Adam made sure to park directly in front of the shop so that he could maintain his sight on Hannah, and gave her specific instructions on what she should do (“You can get two donuts and a drink, but I get the change.”). With that, all that was left was for Hannah to embark on her donut adventure. Everything went smoothly. With her drink and favorite donuts in hand, she walked out of the shop “beaming with pride.”

Hannah could barely contain her excitement when she related her adventure to her mother later that evening. Adam is equally elated that this experience has instilled a sense of independence in Hannah. 

“Giving her that independence, in a familiar environment, with daddy watching from a distance, made her feel like she was capable of anything and was ready to tackle the world. I know that feeling and it’s one I always hope she will have.”

And it all began in “the donut shop.”

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