I twirl the phone cord around my finger. I’m daydreaming when my mother’s voice brings me back to the conversation.
“They’re going to have her diagnosed.” My mother says.
“Who?” I know it’s smarter to ask this than to admit I may not have been listening.
“Willow.” She says. “Have you not been listening? They’re taking Willow in to be looked at.”
“What do they think it is?” I ask.
“They’re thinking its Cerebral Palsy.” She says. “She has all the signs. Even Megan thinks that what it might be.”
I felt my gut clench at those words. My niece is just over a year old. “Are they sure?”
“She’s arching backwards like you did as a child,” she says. “She’s having trouble with her flexibility. We can’t know anything for sure yet, but it looks like she may have it.” She says. “What you have.”
“But Megan didn’t have any problems with the birth did she?” A thought pops into my head that maybe, just maybe, they’re wrong, that Willow won’t have to live with this.
“No, there were no problems, but that doesn’t mean anything.” My mother tells me. “You know this.”
“Let me know if you hear anything?” I ask.
“I will,” she says.
We promise to talk later in the week and I hang up the phone feeling worried and restless. I stare at the phone for a moment, thinking of Willow and how her life is about to change. She is no longer just a baby girl with bright shining eyes. She is a baby girl who has Cerebral Palsy.
Through out the day, I keep thinking of what it was like for me; growing up without knowing anything of what lived inside me. I thought of trying to learn more about my disability in a family that never spoke of things that were different.
I thought of always being told I was different, of always being singled out. I can only hope that she will be strong. It will take courage.
If she doesn’t have enough, I will give her some of mine.