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  • Stephen Lovely

In the beginning

We never know how our children’s lives are going to turn out.

Even if we have an idea on how things will go, there is so many things that can change a child’s and parent’s life in an instant. When something unexpectedly happens, how do we deal?

I’m sure my parents never expected their second child to be born blind. After all, out of all my siblings, I was the only blind one.

I think they handled it well given the fact they have never had any experience raising a child who was blind. They had made sure that blindness wasn’t going to be a factor in anything I did. If it ever posed a problem in any way, they had found quick solutions to make sure it wasn’t going to affect my development.

I grew up privileged. I can’t remember everything from my childhood, but from what I do remember, it was pretty good.

I grew up in a nice house. We had a 3 story, 4 bedrooms, 3-and-a-half-bathroom home with a yard that my siblings and myself would always play in. We had a pool, monkey bars, a swing set, and more toys than a toy store. Our house had 2 living rooms, 2 dining areas, and a basement where us kids would always hang out when we weren’t in our backyard playground.

We went on lots of trips when we were younger. I honestly think we been to Disneyland twice, Newfoundland as that’s where my stepmom’s parents were from, Canada’s wonderland, and places I’m sure we went but just can’t remember at the time of writing this post.

When we weren’t doing those things, my father would decorate the house every season. Summertime, the windows and back door was always open, we would have backyard barbecues, the pool was full of water. Most of the summer and fall we were outside. In the fall my father would rake up all the leaves into a pile, and 1 by 1, my siblings and myself would jump into the pile.

My father’s favorite times of year were Halloween and Christmas. He would dress that house to the nines. There was appropriate decor matching what ever time of the year it was and there were lots, and I mean lots of decorations.

Christmas time was always fun. My father would build an ice rink in our back yard, and just like the summertime, we were always back there. Building snowmen, skating or playing hockey on the backyard rink or just having snowball fights. Once it got late into the evening, my dad would light a decently sized fire in our indoor fireplace, and we would watch those old Christmas movies. You know the ones, frosty the snowman, Santa clause is coming to town…those ones.

I can’t remember exactly what my father and stepmom did for a living, but what ever they did for work was pretty good.

Most of my childhood was spent living with my dad and stepmom who had 2 kids of their own. I would still see my biological brother every weekend, as I would go over to my mother’s every second weekend and my brother would come over to our house every weekend I wasn’t at my mom’s.

As fun as living with my dad was, he had so many rules. Going to my Mother’s was like freedom. A constant vacation away from asking if I may be excused from the dinner table, going to bed at a certain time, waking up at a certain time, etc. My brother taught me how to play video games, best places to hide things, how to climb trees, all and all he taught me how to be a normal kid despite the blind aspect of it all.

Everyone I grew up with made sure I was properly socialised. My parents weren’t the type to worry about weather or not I would hurt my self doing things like playing on the playground, climbing trees, rollerblading. In fact, they let me get hurt as it was the only way I would learn what I can and can’t do.

Most of my early childhood was like this. Until it wasn’t…

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