So every year on October 15th, thousands of blind people across the country celebrate National White Cane Day. Here in Austin, there is a march from the lawn of the State Capitol down to the steps of City Hall. Last year over 300 people participated. The community effort and celebration serves to educate and foster awareness about the blind - whether they walk with a white cane or have a guide dog. There is a gathering in Republic Square Park with music, food, booths with information about Braille, games and resources.
I really wanted Zelda to participate this year and we will in the future but she's just not there yet with her cane. She is coming along nicely however!
So after I dropped the kids at Ecole, I drove along to accompany the White Cane walkers. I was feeling particularly empowered and proud and energized and then like a wave, it came over me. I sobbed. I cried for my daughter. I cried for the loss of of her sight. I pulled into my driveway and just sat - defeated. I guess I'm still not finished mourning and don't know if I ever will be.
Zelda is a superstar, a pistol, a smart, silly little girl who now says "Merci" when you hand her a cookie. In our Ecole conference, her teacher described her as "extremely popular". She explained that the classroom is a better place because of Zelda. The students are kinder, more thoughtful, more attentive. Do I ever want her to feel objectified? Of course not. Do I want her to help educate people and open their minds to the unknown? Hopefully someday. But most of all I just want her to be the most Zelda-like girl that she can ever possibly be...and I want her to be happy and have friends.