There have been a few awards and accolades but she’s far from a prodigy or a genius.
Her gift, is her challenge, her talent the way she copes with it; her dream? – not to have it. To be Just Normal!
6 years into Chelsea’s life as a quadriplegic I can tell you that normal/average looks pretty good from where we sit. If you are going to be extraordinary make sure you are at the right hand end of the graph – the more end. More intelligent, more beautiful, faster, bigger (maybe not this one), smarter and definitely more talented. If you are going to stand out in the crowd and have the spotlight on you make sure it is going to work for you and bring you happiness and joy.
My profound apologies to anyone living with a disability who is offended by the use of the term normal, and I get that normal is a range, and I am making no assumptions or comment about anything other than for her, and for me I wish she was just bang smack in the middle of the curve totally average and “normal”
She was 12 when she wrote this poem – she’s almost 15 now and there have been only 3 days in her life when she was not considered special or extraordinary. She has been “abled” and is now fully “disabled” and her life, and mine as her mother, has changed and moved further from normal than most could ever imagine.
And yet… To me she is amazing and wonderful and talented and beautiful and anything but normal, and for that I am truly grateful every day.
Most days I can advocate for her and continue to be the positive strength even when she has none, and of course occasionally it is so hard and so tiring that I would give anything for her to just be… normal.