The Boy in the Yellow Chair

I dropped Charlie off at school the other day and as I  headed back to the car I saw his class walking to breakfast. Meals are very important in a special needs class, so most of the students go (yes, this means I PAY to have my child filled with sugary starches–I try not to think about it). There they were–a class of little people, holding hands, Charlie being pushed.  And I was merely an observer.

Toddler eating with a fork

Apparently fork practice makes him sleepy

The next day I was at school to discuss the car-rider line with the principal (note: dis-assembling your wheelchair in the middle of the line will not make you any friends). As we sat waiting in the office, people would come and go and several adults stopped to greet and talk to Charlie (not that he talks back). These people knew Charlie–but I didn’t know them.

It’s amazing, really, but at three years of age, Charlie is beginning to make his mark on the community. He is becoming a part of this place.My baby is gone and has been replaced with this boy. He’s growing up. I see it.

And he will change people. I know it. If he never walks and never talks, he will be known by his classmates and teachers. He won’t be an idea about disability–he will be the living embodiment, a rolling, smiling, blue-eyed example of the humanity and beauty that can go hand in hand with that chair.

It’s breathtaking if you think about it.

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  1. And breath-promoting, too, Katy. My respiration picks-up a little with your beautiful expression of the meaning of Charlie’s life. Having an impact on others transcends being like others, eh?

  2. That’s beautiful. Just beautiful.

  3. It is Katy!

    Oh I remember those days! Christopher is also very popular at school and just about everywhere he goes. The inner peace he has developed, pure true love and beauty that radiates through those blue eyes and smile.
    I am so glad Charlie is doing so well in school and Mama seems so proud! Just wait to see all the gains and surprises awaiting!

  4. It really is. The purpose these ‘kids’ have is far greater than most will ever come to realize.

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more. Beautiful, beautiful post.

  6. Charlie will surely make his mark on this world!

    And for those people who may rumble and grumble about you putting together his wheelchair, they need to get over it. It is a part of this beautiful boys life. Maybe they should have to walk a mile or two or 10 in your shoes and his, before they rumble and grumble..


    • No one was allowed to rumble and grumble because I just refused to do it. I can just imagine the seventy pairs of watching eyes as I sat there dis-assembling that thing. Told the principal I would have to park and she was very agreeable.

  7. I absolutely love it. :) This post made my heart happy.

  8. Yes he is!

  9. You just gave me goosebumps….

  10. :) God is good

  11. One of my all-time favorite library visitors is a girl named Katie who I used to see when she was 9-12 years old. She was in a wheelchair and didn’t talk, but had the most beautiful smile and blue eyes. Her mom said Katie loved to listen to stories. I wish I were as happy and serene as Katie.

  12. What a lovely post. I think Charlie is making his mark in the community and blog world.

  13. OHHHH…I’m going to like it here! I could write a book right here in the comments, but I will just say that I understand. Really well.

  14. Glad he is doing so well! It us easy for us to see the positives since we aren’t the one walking in your shoes. However I am always amazed by the cronicles of Charlies life!

  15. I love this. So wonderfully put. As usual.

  16. I remember when Bean started school at 3. I instantly became “Bean’s mom” and he was saying hello to people I didn’t know. It’s weird when your kids start their lives independent of their one with you, but it’s a good thing :)

  17. Charlie has already stolen my heart and on Monday and Friday I am looking around the classroom, feeling like something is missing. That little boy was put here to inspire others. As far as the wheelchair, I admire the time you put into the well being of your precious little boy. You sincerely are a great Mother. God knew you would love the little life that you gave birth to, no matter the circumstance. He trusted you with his special creation and that is why He chose you. I am just so happy that I can share in your little miracle. I already love that little boy!

  18. What an eloquently written post. Very inspiring!

    And yes, it is VERY weird, when people you don’t know at all speak to your child & call them by name. It used to creep me out. Now, I just say “and who are you???”.

    They do grow up way too quickly!

  19. Katy,

    You have made me cry on this beautiful Saturday morning. You are incredible, and your son is a shining star. I hope I will get to meet you both next time I’m home. I’m so privileged to “know” you.


  20. Time does totally fly, too. I remember a boy I met some time ago when he was 5. He’s in his later 20s now & I’m just shaking my head, knowing that I MUST get to Florida again to see my nephews, or they’ll be off to college before I realize it!

  21. I was having a woe-as-me-mommy week with my non-verbal non-mobile son who is 2.5 and very similar to your little man. okay, okay 5 medical appintments didn’t help my grumpiness. Thank you for getting me out if the rut I needed hope that the next steps are going to be okay.

  22. What an awesome boy you’ve got there…sounds like he is in a great school, too. Forget the cranky carpool mamas!

  23. Hi Katy- What an excellent post! Charlie totally seems like that type of kid who touches everyone without a single word. He seems irresistible too with those delectable cheeks!
    It makes my day when I stop in at school, I have identical twins in a special needs’ school. During class changes all the older kids will shout “Hey, Elijah!” or “hey Milo!”…and high five them, they’ll always know which twin is which. It’s the sweetest thing ever!!! I don’t think I’ve ever left that school dry-eyed.
    Btw, those Gerber forks are awesome for the kids! So easy to grip.

  24. Man, I am a sap! This post made me cry! Beautiful, just beautiful!