Day 6 of our Chris Brogan Every-Day-for-30-Days Blogging Challenge
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“Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. Only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.
(Polish subtitles: hey, the more diversity the better.)
“There is no spoon?”-Disability style
photo credit: wintersoul1 Last Sunday I went to pick up Aaron at his house. I told the caregiver we were going out to lunch, but–no surprise–she forgot. So Aaron and his housemate were sitting at the kitchen table eating soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Now, soup and grilled cheese are lunch classics, so no problem there.
But, in one glance, I could see both these men were struggling with the soup because they were eating it with teaspoons. Both have lots of motor issues, and both would put soup on the tiny spoon and lose most of it by the time it got close to their mouths.
This particular staff person is from another country and we have had problems with her just not understanding things ie. she used shaving cream with the electric razor– ruining the $100 shaver and confusing Aaron. She is also the one who didn’t think you needed shampoo to wash hair…. So, I’m thinking, maybe she doesn’t know any better, it’s a cultural thing or something. (Okay, I’m really silently reading her the riot act.)
I nonchalantly go over to the kitchen drawer and figure I’ll just give them bigger spoons.
But, NO SPOONS. Not even a bent one. (Where’s the bald spoon boy when you need him?)
In fact, there is only one knife in the drawer and about three forks. I look around, but they don’t have a dishwasher, and the dish drainer holds no silverware, so I wonder where in the world is the last set of silverware I bought for the house? How do they keep losing silverware?
“Realize the truth.”
Deciding it was an impossible situation, I just left with Aaron and took him to a restaurant for lunch, like we planned in the first place.
1. Do I report this to Aaron’s care-coordinator and let her handle it? (case worker)
2. Do I ask the head staff person? (Except she works there four days a week and certainly would know there is no silverware.)
3. Do I ask everyone what happened to the silverware and make a big deal about them being … maybe irresponsible? or untrustworthy? (After all, Aaron lives better off than some of the staff and things have disappeared before.)
4. Could this be a situation like a previous backpack issue?
One Sept. I bought Aaron two backpacks because they were on sale and he usually loses one or it gets so torn up he needs a new one by January, when they are expensive and hard to find. When the staff person saw Aaron had two, she took one to a person in another house where she worked because that person didn’t have any. So maybe this silverware thing is the same. Maybe the people with disabilities in another house didn’t even have teaspoons? So, in an institutional–all things belong to all people and we think of the greater good–the staff person decided Aaron had more silverware than the other person so all’s fair.
5. ???? (This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night)
“It is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself”
So, what to do? How do I solve this problem and upset as few people as possible?
Everyone says–and I mean everyone–I am too involved in Aaron’s life and just need to let the staff do their job. Certainly the parents of Aaron’s housemate don’t even see things like the spoons or the rags they use for towels, or the fact that the light-bulbs don’t work in the living room lamps.
But this is for Aaron–how could I just ignore this?
Not sure if this was right, but the next day when I brought Aaron back to his house, I just slipped a couple knives and bigger spoons into the kitchen drawer. Didn’t say a word.
Now next week, St. Vincent’s Thrift Store has everything half-off on the first Monday of every month. I’m betting I can find a good deal on a whole set of silverware–or at least more spoons. I can probably find a couple better towels for everyone too.
I’ll slip over to the house during the day when no one is home, put them away and … bet no one even wonders where the silverware came from.
But I’ll know, and Aaron’s life will be better for it. And that is enough.
Matrix World meets Disability World
I’ve read the lesson of the Matrix is that the physical world is all an illusion and if we just free our minds, problems are not as bad as we think. In Disability World, we can free our minds all we want, but it would be an illusion if we believed things are not as bad as we think–they are. But love and actions are better than illusions.
What would you do? Any similar stories?
Keep Climbing: Onward and Upward.
All the best,
In case you missed it:
Day 1: “Every Day for 30 Days” Blogging Challenge or “IBP” (Individual Blogging Plan) Day 1 of the 30-Day-Every-Day Blogging challenge. (click here)
Day 4: (click here)
Day 5: (click here)
Check out what my challenge partner Alison Golden of The Secret Life of a Warrior Woman:“Disabled in Waiting”