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Who Would You Be?

Emmy Heaton by Emmy Heaton Additional Needs

Emmy Heaton

Emmy Heaton

Hi I'm Emmy, mum to AJ who has cerebral palsy.

More so after a day of seeing you struggle, or seeing children your age, or seeing you struggle around children your age.

I never really notice how 'delayed’ you are until it literally smacks me in the face when we are around other children.

The gap between abilities like speech - (WOW, children can talk…SO MUCH!) it's insane.

It hurts. Really hurts.

Almost, aches!

Like a dull, niggling, pain that never really goes away.

It's just sometimes easier to ignore it and distract myself, rather than sit and ponder over it, which we all know, makes things 100 times worse than they are.

If you had never suffered a brain injury, who would you be?

When would you take your first steps?

How fast could you run?

Would you like climbing?


Would you like games?

Hide and seek?


Would you be competitive?

How high could you swing?

Could you do the monkey bars?

Climb the stairs to the slide yourself?

Would you like to sing like me?

Or would you be more of an, 'out-doorsy', person like your Dad?

Would you have been to the shooting range with him yet?

Would you follow in his footsteps and become a royal marine?

You certainly have the determination for it.

Or follow in mine, and aspire to work with disabled children? (Ironic, eh?)

What would your voice sound like, would you be cheeky?

What would you first word be - nothing naughty I hope?!

Would you be popular?


I could ask myself these questions a thousand times and the sting would never change.

It would never hurt any less.

In fact, I think it probably stings a little more with each thought, each day that passes.

But, then I think…would you even be.. you?

The you I have grown to really know over the past for years.

You have the cheesiest, most determined little personality.

More determined than most adults I've come across.

I often try to use your determination to push myself to do the things you can't, like the walk we did this weekend!

1,827 feet up the side of a HUGE hill!

I wanted to give up, quite a few times, but I thought of you, and how you can't do things like that alone and that pushed me.

You have the most beautiful smile, the best I've ever seen.

Ear to ear, you could melt even the coldest heart.

You can say so much just with your facial expressions.

Would I ever have been so attentive to the small things if you were never, you?

Or would it have just been overlooked, if you could talk?

You can tell stories with just your eyes, sometimes, I think you've been here before.

The way you stop and just stare, then a huge smile will come across your face, as if you are thinking happy thoughts.

I want nothing more than to be able to understand and share those thoughts with you one day.

I would never change you, not for the whole world.

But I can't help but wonder…

Who would you be?


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