An Ode to Verticality

I have made myself literally (yes I know what it means and yes I actually am) laugh aloud. This is a piece I wrote in 2009 when attending a creative writing class at the local community centre. I love finding these old pieces. It helps me to remember that when I wrote regularly, I wrote better. Deadlines are good for that. To friends out there that share my shorter stature…this is for you.




In High School I was known as

“Short Ass”, Shorty or worse

My lack of verticality

Definitely a curse.



Oh to be taller

Oh wouldn’t I give it all

Imagine what I could achieve

If only I were tall.


School photos were a nightmare

“Shortest to the front”

And so I’d sit down again

With an unimpressed grunt.


At concerts, assemblies and fights in the yard

I could never get a view

If you were this close to the ground

You’d be grumpy too!


And why re all the useful things

Put on a higher shelf?

Oh how I wished for platform shoes

So I could reach them for myself.


Oh to be taller

Oh wouldn’t I give it all

Imagine what I could achieve

If only I were tall.

I dance

The girl doesn’t have much control over her life. Many choices, particularly medical ones, have necessitous outcomes. So while she always has things explained to her and has the opportunity for input she can’t always have the final say. I aim to offer her communication book during any appointment. This is both to give her the chance to comment and to remind medicos that her voice is important. At last weeks pre-botox appointment I did just that. My girl grinned as she navigated her book to say her piece. Her words? “I dance.”

Tears welled as I looked at the proud, determined kid before me. Dance classes have become more important to her than I could have anticipated. They are fun…and so much more. She is motivated to make her body work. To open scrunched hands. To lift uncooperative arms. To coordinate moving her legs in her wheelchair as instructed by her teacher. But, clearly, she wants more.

The girl can see that Botox treatment gives her a chance to improve her movement. She recognises that the medicine that will make her arms and legs less stiff can do more than enable her to be dressed more easily or assist with other aims we have for her. It can help her achieve her own goals. It can help her to dance.






This seems a fitting quote for our determined girl……….

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Vivian Greene

Heavy Stuff

Holidays are fun, right? Well they are supposed to be. I enjoy spending time with my children. Really. It’s just…the stuff. That which still needs to be done (These people need food. Every. Single. Day. And the washing. Don’t get me started.). And that which can’t easily be done. That is what is messing with my head today.

Last week the girl was pretty sick but we did manage a couple of afternoon outings once her coughing had settled. I have tried to make fun and take the focus away from a fortnight almost sans help. With success, I think. The issue seems to be that I haven’t learnt from my mistakes. I continue to look at Facebook.

Happy snaps from all over the world greet me daily. Which is great for the snappers. For me, today, it feels heavy. The weight of the stuff we can’t easily do as a family is making me sad. It may sound ridiculous considering we adventured with another wheelchair wielding family on the weekend. How many wheelies can say they bumped along track in a four wheel drive looking for snow?

We have good times. Fun. Joyous times. We push the boundaries of expectations for this special kid. Even then I need to consider phone range and charging equipment and measuring meds and timing feeds and temperature management…you get the picture. {{sigh}} Tomorrow my big girl wants to see a movie and have coffee. So I shall go now, sleep off the heaviness and wake to a smiling girl. Tomorrow I will be ready to enjoy the stuff we can do.