My Disability: recent publications

What It's Like to Fall a Lot Because of My Disability

Kids fall all the time. Most 30-something adults… don’t.

Or if they do, it’s in a perfectly choreographed, loveably adorable, romantic-comedy meet-cute kinda way. Or an “I’ve clearly had too much to drink and now must be escorted home before I ruin someone’s shoes” kinda way.

That is not how I fall. I fall spectacularly. And the other adults around me don’t know what to do.

I’m the person who tumbles down two flights of (thankfully, carpeted) stairs on a first date. I fall when I’m proctoring an elementary school test and it’s been completely silent for two hours. I fall as I’m literally saying to someone that the arm they are offering me will actually make me more likely to fall. I fall with so much drama that most people in the immediate vicinity just stand there horrified for a few seconds.

I have actually tried to come up with a clever analogy to tell people that, due to my cerebral palsy and my general propensity for clumsiness, falling down is such a common occurrence in my life that it’s actually not that big of a deal. “Really, I probably fall as often as you get Starbucks.”

I probably come off as not very confident because I am constantly looking at the floor for that one thing that will bring me down. Is it a pencil? A carpet fiber that’s started to unravel? A tiny curb? An errant pebble? A friggin’ single flashcard? These are my Kryptonite.

Life with kids is a never-ending obstacle course through the random stuff they’ve left on the floor. That wayward shoe my one-way ticket to Faceplant City. The walk from the kids’ bedroom door to the bed means dodging the pile of Legos, skirting around the pile of books, and hugging the wall to avoid the Pokémon cards, only to be brought down by the backpack strap that was

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