Dear Cerebral Palsy

Previously, I’ve written 2 letters on my own blog. One to Lauren and one to Jillian. I’ve decided that I have some things to say to Cerebral Palsy.

Dear CP,

Can I call you that? I just think we should be on a first name basis by now. You invaded my life when my youngest daughter was 13 months old. When I first learned about your existence, I was in total “Mama bear” protector mode. Googling until all hours of the night wondering how I could “fix” this.

After a rather uncomplicated NICU stay, we really weren’t expecting anything to crop up. But wow! You are definitely sneaky! If I had written this letter a year ago, I probably wouldn’t have very many nice things to say to you, so you should be glad I’m writing this now. My mother taught me if I don’t have anything nice to say not to say anything at all. Be glad for that lesson.

Thank you for targeting my daughter. Sounds weird, don’t you think? Don’t let this go to your head or anything. I’m still not overly happy that you decided to make yourself comfortable within my family, but I do have to thank you for sending me the best teacher I have ever had. Jillian has showed me that I am MUCH stronger than I have ever given myself credit for. Speaking of strength? Jillian is one of the toughest kiddos I’ve ever met. And the sense of humor? I’m quite thankful that she got that from me and we can laugh about things together.

I’m not happy with the fact that my awesome daughter gets frustrated watching other children walking and running. Or when she wants to do something like sit on a potty and she’s too tight to make it happen, how she cries for me to make it better, and I can’t. I really hope this lesson is learned quickly because I’m pretty sure that neither Jillian or I enjoy it much.

Thank you for teaching BOTH of my children that “normal” comes in every shape and size and ability. Instead of my children asking me what’s “wrong” with a child (or adult) they already consider that there is NOTHING wrong with them. In fact? You’ve taught my older daughter to be Jillian’s biggest supporter. I suppose I should thank you for that as well.

As much as this has been a roller coaster, with you in our lives, I should be glad that you picked on a family who will stand up for their child. I feel like I fight for everything, but to see Jillian succeed at something makes it all worth while. My daughter might have Cerebral Palsy, but it doesn’t define her. You don’t define THIS family. We’re just muddling through the best we know how.


Cheryl Peters, Jillian’sĀ fearsomeĀ mama.

(On a totally unrealated note… Or not… Jillian walked 43 meters last week. And that? That’s something to shove in CP’s face. And as she says? “I’m doing it, mom!” Indeed you are, baby. Indeed you are.)

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