Monday, September 14, 2009

Stupid Thoughts

Every once in a while I am reminded that Skyler will one day grow up, he will be a child, a teenager, an adult etc. Today I was reading a blog post about someone else's child playing soccer for the first time and the thought occurred to me "can blind kids play soccer?" I mean it feels like a stupid question and it probably is, but I can't seem to figure it out. I imagine if you can't see where the ball is you can't exactly kick it or score a goal. Maybe if they have a ball that makes a sound or something? And goals that make sounds? That might work. Do they have those things? Do blind kids generally play sports? Not that I care, I myself don't like sports in the slightest. Nor does C, so it isn't like we're disappointed about it. We didn't have dreams of being Hockey Parents or anything. (Not that I would ever be like that with my child, Canadians you know what I mean when I say Hockey Parents. Blah.)

But it leads me to several other questions. I mean I know blind people can't drive. That's a matter of safety (and on a side note, I think it's completely ridiculous that we don't do retesting for drivers every decade or so. I know many elderly people who've lost their vision but still have their license because we don't retest people. These people shouldn't be on the road!). What about skating in the winter? Not hockey but just skating? Maybe if they hold hands with someone who is sighted so they don't bump into people? Don't get me wrong, I know there are so many things he can do. And I have no intention of limiting him in any way, unless of course it compromises his safety. Like I'm not going to let him drive because that would be stupid.

But I wonder about these things. I guess I just know there are some things he won't be able to do. Which is true of anyone. I mean there are things I just can't do. Not because my vision sucks or because I'm disabled in some way, but just because I can't do them. I suck at sports, and I have no skills when it comes to drawing. My "people" look more like disfigured blobs when I try to sketch. Everyone has things they are good at and things they are not, but I suppose I am just worried about him being limited because of his vision. What if he wants to play soccer or something? I always thought I would be a paranoid mommy if my son wanted to play some sort of sport but throw in the fact that he's blind and I think I would spend the entire time having a panic attack on the side lines worrying about him getting hit in the head or tripping over someone and breaking a bone.

Thinking of which has just alerted me to the fact that soccer is a team sport and there would be other kids on the field too. Which would be pretty hazardous as well if there's lots of noise and you can't tell who is where. He'd probably run into them. I guess sports are pretty much off the table for him. Here's hoping he's like both of his parents and has no interest whatsoever in playing sports of any kind. Maybe I'll find him something safer to do like swimming. Get him a nice little life jacket and some lessons. Or a piano. Maybe he'll love music like his mommy.

Wow I am so overthinking this. I know the time will come when I have to deal with it though. I like to think things out ahead of time.. I suppose I will just have to deal with it when the time comes. I just hate those moments that give you pause, and not in a good way.


Stacie said...

Those are not 'stupid thoughts' at all. If I were in your position, I would be thinking about the same things.

You have had to alter your way of thinking. Totally understandable. I cannot say that it sounds simple. So far, you're doing an amazing job!

You are right, you will know when the time comes what Sky can do. Right now it's probably hard imagining him being 2.

Don't get too far ahead of yourself with worry and/or stress. Perhaps you do some research online? I'm sure there has to be some information available. Just a though to maybe ease your mind.

Stacie said...

I forgot the word "can".

"Perhaps you can do some research..."

Ashley's Mom said...

Blind children can do almost everything a sighted child can! Yes, they do make balls that beep - and soccer goals and bases and baseballs, etc.!!! One the activities my daughter loved the most when she was younger was Easter Egg hunts where the eggs beeped.

And as for driving, make no assumptions! Check out this story on my blog about teaching the blind to drive:

Karen said...

Blind people do play some sports, but generally they are sports like certain gymnastics events (think uneven bars), running or jogging on a track, or even swimming. My kids are on a swim team and you'd be surprised at how little vision comes into play. They stay in their lane by noticing if their hands graze the lane markers. The lanes are perfectly clear so there's no worry of bumping into other swimmers, and they find the end of the lane by touch and by familiarity with the length of the pool. In races it's not uncommon for the swimmer to lose their goggles when they dive in or even have the goggles flip upside down on their eyes so they can't open their eyes. They don't stop swimming to fix it because vision just isn't that important.

One thing to remember is that a LOT of this depends on him having some small amount of sight. For example, if he can see at all he can paint. Beethoven went deaf but kept composing because he remembered what the notes would have sounded like.

And you are spot on about disability not being the biggest factor. I have perfectly healthy kids who couldn't do a cartwheel to save their lives. Do keep an open mind, and try to find things he can do. It will help keep him healthy. But otherwise, just wait and see.

Karen said...

I remembered something I thought you'd like. Years ago I'd taken Zaven and Caly to the pool at a nearby college. They aren't open to the public so there were only a few swimmers. We were in the water swimming when this young man in a wheelchair came out of the locker rooms. His legs were missing from just above the knees, but otherwise he was in perfect condition. He was not just buff, he was ripped. Caly was about 6 or 7 and she immediately whispered to me how sad he must be because he wouldn't be able to get in the water. I told her that he could and just as she started arguing he swung himself out of his chair and got in the pool.

Then she said well he could get in the water but he wouldn't be able to really swim. He could just float. About that time he took off like a fish and crossed the length of the pool far faster than I could have.

Zaven (9 or 10 at the time) said but I feel bad because he won't be able to dive and that's the best part. And just then the guy swam up under the diving board, surged up out of the water in a tremendous splash and grabbed the diving board. He pulled himself up from the water in a chin up, lifted himself onto the diving board, flipped off in a dive and was across the pool before my kids figured out how to pick up their jaws.

They've been trying to figure out how to get on a diving board from underneath ever since and still haven't managed it.

You just never know what someone is capable of until they try.

Azaera said...

So very true. Thanks everyone for the encouragement :D and the car for blind people looks pretty cool.