In honor of the great Dr. Seuss’s Birthday it seemed only fitting to share this story.
On my last visit to Home of Hope, an orphanage for children with severe physical and intellectual disabilities (mostly CP, hydrocephalus and fetal alcohol syndrome) I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Christmas early. With donations from the incredible Autism Santa, I brought loads of new toys for the children to enjoy. Within the toys was a book, Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You Will Go.
The children gathered around, lured by the bright pictures. As I started to read I realized it was one I had never read before, at least not that I remembered. But even if I had, it would never have hit me like it did then.
Only a few pages in my throat caught.
At first it was at the sheer irony. Telling children in wheel chairs or laying fixed on the ground, how they’ll put on their shoes and head straight out of town.
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
I looked at these children and they beamed up at me and I wondered what places they would even see? Could they imagine a brighter future ahead? When they were confined to lay in their bed?
But then the famed Doctor, I’m glad it didn’t take long, changed the tune of his too happy song.
I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
can happen to you.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies
I looked at the faces of these children. And I stopped.
I stopped reading (and rhyming).
And I prayed.
I prayed that today, in this moment they would understand. They understand the English. The book would mean more than pictures. The message would somehow sink in.
Because though they have the greatest struggle to face, there is hope. Now. There is hope. We are almost through the waiting place and on to the great adventure. And in my head I begged them, just give me a bit more time. Hold on a bit longer. And dream.
Dream of the places you’ll go. Not far distance ones, but the ones just outside the door. Dream of visiting the village your from and having them embrace instead of ridicule you. Dream of the places like school that will open their doors to you. Dream. Because one day soon,
Kid, you’ll move mountains