Today marks an historic day. In 1965, a cosmonaut from Siberia, Russia performed the first spacewalk. For almost 20 minutes, Alexei Leonov, who was part of the second Voskhod space mission, became the first man to walk in space. Tethered to a series of hoses connected to his spacesuit, Leonov hovered over Earth at eighteen thousand feet. Imagine the excitement this man felt as he became the first human to successfully accomplish this feat!
The spacewalk, which is actually not so much a ‘walk’ but a process by which a cosmonaut (or astronaut) safely observes outer space while in outer space, further advanced Russia’s space program. It cemented their lead in the Space Race. Not to be outdone, and just a few short months later, the Americans caught up to what the Russian cosmonauts had done. The US successfully sent an astronaut on a spacewalk in June of 1965. Ed White, also hooked up to several hoses like Leonov was in his spacewalk, was able to transmit his endeavor via radio back to the other astronaut on the mission, James McDivitt, and made U.S. history. The impossible was again possible.
Why is this story something worthy of sharing?
This story begins with lofty goals: Let’s send a man to walk in outer space!
It has aspects of mystery: Will the guy live to tell?
It has elements of surprise: Hey! He DID it!
It ends with inspiring others: If he can do it, so can I.
While the journey we’re on as parents may be a little bit different, it’s as ambitious as was sending a man to walk in outer space. To bring a child back to health, to recover a child, to stand up for the rights of that child and his or her health—talk about lofty goals!
Helping our children, be it to gain back their health, their skills or their childhood, takes a great deal of effort. It requires detailed planning and careful execution. Sure, we’d hope our own stories would make global news headlines such as the initial spacewalk news must have, but our stories don’t garner the attention they should. Some people may not think it’s as exciting as the first human to spacewalk was; but I promise you, our journey and our children are important.
I’m sure elements of the Space Race continues as each party ups the ante to do more or better than the other, but I’ve lost touch with some of what the rest of the world spends its time and money on. These days I focus instead on the most vulnerable: the vaccine injured of the human race.
The people in these types of stories may not sound as exciting to the common man, but their needs and the goals those of us have for them are admirable and worthy of fulfilling.
Slowly but surely, the more we share what’s happened to our children, the more our efforts will make history—life-changing history, and history that will hopefully not be repeated with other children.
As we share and implore people to learn from us, we head into uncharted territory. All the while we’re demanding that people look at us and listen to us. It’s not to show off what we’ve done or what we can do; it’s to bring much-needed attention to a generation of children who’ve been wronged. Our stories are full of mystery and surprise, trauma and drama and failures and successes. As sad and frustrating as it is to tell and retell what happened, it’s important to keep these stories alive. Some of them have ended happily, while others are still years in the making. Banding together, tethered with each other’s life lines, we will keep going. We must keep going.
No matter what you’ve dreamed of for your child, and no matter where their story is right now, it is a story worth telling. Tell it to everyone who will listen to it. To those who won’t listen, try to tell it again. Make them listen to it, and remind them of the reasons you need them to hear it.
Because what you do and why you do it is going to help someone someday.
Because dreams can and do come true.
Because people set out to achieve the impossible every single day.
Make today one of those days for yourself or for someone who doesn’t yet believe
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I’m not certain this is the correct place to brag about what happened with our son this weekend or not, but I feel like I need to share it with my fellow thinkers so here I go.
Ok, I’m sitting down so I don’t fall over. My son….my uncoordinated, my motor-planning deficient, my stopped walking at 13 months and didn’t walk again until almost 2 years old, my needs OT 3 times a week foe the past 4 years son…..scored 6 ( yes 6!) goals in a soccer game!! A team made up of all ” typicals” against all ” typicals” no less!
My husband and I have offically termed March 16th, 2013 the “Day of Redemption” .
This was his 3rd season “playing” soccer ( he is 6), but thus far his efforts in the sport were dismal to say the least. But, he kept telling us he wanted to play so we kept signing him up. We had very low expectations of his ability. To be honest, we just wanted him around typical kids and thought he may not get the chance to play sports when they got really competitive so we should at least expose him to them now. Most practices and games were ladened with at least 3-4 meltdowns, trumped only by his incessant flapping at the actions going on AROUND him.
So, when he made his first goal we thought the Autism gods must be smiling on him today. The second goal we were like, “wow he has really improved.” The third goal I think I started crying. The forth goal, my husband started crying. By the fifth and and sixth goal we were pinching each other to make sure we weren’t dreaming.
My point is not only to brag ( we’ve all worked our asses off for the past 4 years!), but also to NEVER underestimate your child! NEVER give up!