Here is a rewind to Mrs. Snow Pea’s favorite post!
Last Tuesday we had our first and only dance lesson at Atrium Dance. We really procrastinated on that task! Instructor Barbara was fantastic and taught us enough to move around the dance floor for our first dance. Whether we can do it without making a complete ass of ourselves is another thing. Barbara even instructs at Drexel U sometimes.
What I love about Mr. Snow Pea is that he is a great sport about everything. Dancing made him a little uneasy, but he sucked it up for me. The reason being is Mr. Snow Pea was born with Cerebral Palsy and has what is known as Spastic CP, which is heightened muscle tone and tightness. Mr. Snow Pea’s legs are spastic, so he’s a little apprehensive about dancing in front of a crowd. Otherwise, he’s cool as a cucumber!
The reason I bring this up is that I don’t think I have ever seen this discussed. What exactly? Disabilities and all that comes with it, e.g. Health Issues, Family Concerns, Prejudice, Compromises, Criticism, etc. These are things that people don’t tell you when you’re getting married, but I am sure many people deal with them. I don’t know anyone else with a spouse who has a “disability.”
I wouldn’t call it a disability either. He’s perfectly able-bodied. He can do anything except ice skate or use his feet during a tickle fight!
Like I said, Mr. Snow Pea was born with CP. When we met in college, I didn’t even notice he walked differently, which even surprised me because I was a freakin’ priss back then. I just knew he was a special guy. We dated for a few months and I was crazy about him. It never bothered me when people stared at us on the street. I used to tell him it’s because we’re such a darn good lookin’ couple. In Chinatown, everyone stares at everyone anyway, and it’s more likely it’s because they see a Chinese girl holding hands with a “white guy”.
Then one day, something changed. L-O-V-E! I knew I truly loved Mr. Snow Pea when I got scared. No, none of that stupid I am scared to get hurt BS. I mean concerned – for his future, his health, our future, can we have children? Would it mean I have to bear a heavier load in our relationship, household responsibilities, and child rearing? What happens when he’s elderly? I educated myself on it by reading about CP online, chatting with other people with CP and voicing my concerns with Mr. Snow Pea. Of course, Mr. SP didn’t want to be a burden, not that he was. Pretty soon all my questions were answered and my fear went away. Instead, I was filled with love and affection knowing that I would spend my life with someone who was strong, resilient, positive and caring.
How did our friends and family react when they met Mr. Snow Pea? For people who are often critical, they were surprisingly understanding. My mom loved Mr. SP from the start! She often reprimands me for not “helping” him around the house even though he’s perfectly capable, or cooking too much for him because she thinks he shouldn’t gain any weight otherwise it will make his knees “worse”. Silly Mama goose. All our friends are cool, so that was no big deal. I think that’s what makes our friends so great. We are such a tightly knit group and very protective of one another.
Unfortunately, we have had some troubles with people. Oftentimes, kids will make fun of him on the street. Once, a random woman shouted at us saying if he got better shoes, he would walk better. A homeless person once attacked him by hooking him at the ankle with an umbrella. Those incidents were more dangerous than hurtful. The most shocking thing for me was that people actually made that kind of effort to be cruel. The worst was when acquaintances felt the need to ask how I could be with “someone like that”, because if they were in my shoes they would be embarrassed. How shallow.
As for the future, I am so grateful to share my life with someone as strong as Mr. Snow Pea. Growing up with CP has definitely added another dimension to his personality. He’s incredibly healthy and with CP, the only thing he has to do is work out throughout his whole life to stretch out his muscles, because the more spastic his muscles are, he will lose his capability to walk on his own. We’re strong and protective of one another and as cliche as it may sound, it has made our relationship stronger.
I think anyone can relate to this in one way or another. How many people have made judgments about your fiance/spouse based on looks, education, money, and ethnicity? What are some special circumstances that you have experienced? How did you overcome them?