What is the most important thing about a person?
I recently discussed this with my son; he is four and has Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
This condition affects his muscles and he pretty much needs full assistance to do anything physical.
He cannot walk and uses a wheelchair to get around. Most days he accepts this as his normal and doesn’t complain.
However, a few weeks ago we had a wee wobbly day.
When I collected him from nursery he was quite tearful and wasn’t himself. He was very quiet on the way home and when we got back he wanted to go straight to bed to lie down.
He then told me that he was worried about something and asked if he should be worried about it or not.
Eventually he told me it was his legs “should I be worried about my legs”? He told me he’d just seen everyone else running around the nursery and he wasn’t able to do that so it was making him sad and worried.
What followed was a discussion about how he was feeling and he amazed me with his faith and strength of character.
I asked him what he thought made a person special, what did he think was the most important thing about a person.
He replied that a person’s heart was the most important. He said that he had a kind heart and that had to be more important than having walking legs.
His four year old mind was much wiser than its years as he told me it’s his kind heart that makes him love people and helps him make people laugh.
We talked about how some days it might be frustrating for him that he can’t walk but actually with his kind heart he can achieve anything that anyone else can.
I asked him what he would tell people about living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and his reply made my eyes fill with tears – he told me he would want people to know “miracles happen every day”.
I hope he always remembers our little chat, on the days where he maybe feels a bit sad or frustrated.
I hope he knows how special his kind heart is, how far it will take him and how much people love him for it.