My friend Bron is sharing her Challenge today. Bron is a fantastic blogging friend. She writes about her families travel adventures. Let me say that I am in awe of her courage and sense of adventure!
When Kerri mentioned the challenge series to me a million little words came to mind.
Disability, parenting, cerebral palsy, lifting, access, advocating, parking, therapists, school.....then typical stuff like toddler tantrums, watching Dora a million times and homework! Oh and listening to Mine craft walk throughs via Coopers ipad.
Then I started thinking about daily challenges like getting out of bed and making school lunches. One word kept resurfacing and it was balance, I feel as though I am constantly trying to balance everything with my head just above water.
But I wanted to put a positive spin on challenge and look at it as something that is challenging but something we tackle head on.
So I am going to talk about travel. Travel with three kids, one of whom has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
It's a fun challenge most of the time!
We love to travel as a family and have been on many adventures. Our favourite destination is South East Asia being only 8/10 hours from Australia. We are currently in Europe for six weeks. We have been on 2 planes, 7 trains, 2 boats, 4 taxis, 1 gondola and 1 cable car. We have stayed in six different apartments and heard 5 different languages. We have eaten French pastries, German sausages and so much pizza and gelato.
Our kids are 9,6,2.
Access using a wheelchair has been really tricky. At one stage I lifted Cooper and his wheelchair off a train by myself while Andrew tackled the bag and sleeping toddler. The many bridges of Venice in Italy are full of steps and so many toilets seem to be below shop fronts. The roads are full of cobblestones and buildings are historic and not accessible.
On his Dads shoulders Cooper hiked along a mountain path 2200m in the Alps of Bavaria. He climbed a castle built in 1345 on his Dads back. He got a lift up the Eiffel Tower and rode a gondola on a Venice canal.
|Best view, from Dad's shoulders|
We do it because we can and because we want to show Cooper he can do anything. We also want to show the world he can do anything. We want to make disability more visible and we want people we meet to remember that family on the train who didn't let using a wheelchair stop them from discovering the world.
****************Isn't this family amazing? I get anxiety taking Boo to the Zoo and they travel all over the world with their three children, one who has wheels. Her blog is amazing, for the pictures, the travel tips and the honesty of traveling with a child who has a disability. That yes Cerebral Palsy makes adds a few obstacles to getting on the train, but it doesn't stop him from seeing the world. Or surfing it. At 9, Cooper has visited more countries than most adults I know.
Bron & her family are currently recovering from jet lag induced by their six-week holiday. Traveling from Australia to London with so many stops in between. With ONE bag. That is six weeks and one bag for five people. And they are still talking to one another! Check out their adventures at 3 kids, 2 parents, 1 backpack & 1 wheelchair.
What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. I am amazed at how honest and hopeful the challenges have been. Thank you to all who have contributed. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org