My beautiful Ashley can reduce me to tears sometimes. Today was school assembly and it was her classes turn to perform. By 6:30am Ash was raring to go and telling me to hurry up because she was ready!
Ashley has both legs in plaster at the moment and is relying on her wheelchair to get around. This hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm though. When we got into the classroom one of the other kids took over pushing her chair and Ashley was surrounded as her classmates decorated her wheelchair. I was shooed out of the room and told the rest of the preparations were secret.
Over at the school hall all was revealed. There was my Ashley, front and centre of her class in her decorated chair. “I’m going to be like Artie on Glee” she called out to me. Sure enough the music started and my little girl sang while her classmates wheeled her chair through the dance sequence.
She put her heart and soul into that performance, all the while grinning at her classmates and loving every minute of it. The joy on that little girl’s face was priceless and tears poured down my face.
Ashley is going to have major surgery on her legs later this year and she will be unable to walk for quite a while afterwards. I had been worrying about how this was going to affect her especially with the amount of school that she will miss. After today’s performance I’m not nearly as worried.
The love and support that her classmates give her is so beautiful to see. She is just Ashley to them, they don’t see her in terms of her disability. They all reach out to help her and accept her for who she is. There are a lot of people in the community who could learn from these kids when it comes to inclusion.
I know, no matter what challenges she faces with her operation and the rehab that follows, that she will be fine. Her joyful exuberance and the love that surrounds her will carry her through. As usual my little girl continues to teach and inspire me.