“It makes my heart smile that Jeff can still play with Evie. That he’s found ways to interact with her, and that she accepts those new ways without question.”
Playing with your child when you can’t move your arms or legs is a challenge, but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. You also can’t overlook the adaptability of a child who just wants to play with his or her parent. “When it’s just Evie and Daddy playing, Evie does the hands-on work while Jeff does the voices. On the rare occasion that Jeff mixes up the voices, Evie the puppeteer gives him a scowl, and reminds him in a monotone growl, “This is Kirk, not Ken” to which Daddy abruptly changes to a deeper tone.” Evie might be doing all the moves, but she’s still playing dolls with her dad.
It doesn’t mean the physical limitations aren’t, at times, gut wrenching, as Kristen, wife of a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic understands. “…he looked up at me and said, “I wish I wasn’t just a voice, you know?” I gave him a sad smile and a little nod.” Despite the frustrations, nothing has kept this father-daughter pair from having an incredible relationship worth sharing as a reminder that there’s no one way to develop a relationship with your child.
What are the meaningful ways you engage with your son or daughter? How did you adapt your parenting to maximize your abilities? Share your story for a chance to be featured.