We settled onto the bench on our porch, a favorite place to do homework. First up, we had to decide on a cover photo for the PowerPoint presentation. Max scanned Google images. At first, he was leaning toward this brawny babe and I was all for it.
Ultimately, he decided to show off his own muscles, and I took the hunky pic above of him flexing. Calendar material, that boy!
We went through a couple of books we'd gotten from the library. We discussed the three kinds of muscles—skeletal (or voluntary) muscles you can purposefully flex, smooth muscle used to connect organs and the heart muscle. Max was particularly into the digestive muscles because they process his favorite food, steak, among others.
After he'd finished with the information he needed to present, I asked if he wanted to say something about cerebral palsy.
Max gave me A Look.
"No!" he said.
"Max, maybe you could explain how having cerebral palsy affects your muscles," I said. "You could talk about how sometimes it can be hard to move your fingers, even though you do a great job."
"NO, IT'S EASY!" he announced. And to prove his point, he leaned over to the table, picked up my phone and held it, triumphantly.
"Max, do you maybe want to talk about how cerebral palsy can affect your speech?" I asked. We'd discussed how the tongue is a muscle.
"NO, IT'S EASY TO TALK!" he said. "SEE?"
He seemed to be getting a bit perturbed. And who am I, a person who doesn't have CP, to tell him that it's challenging? Yeah, I'm his mom and all, but I have no idea what it feels like to be in Max's body. And maybe movements are not difficult to him, even if it at times it looks that way to me, because he's used to working through them and doesn't think twice. Or maybe he's in denial that sometimes, certain things are challenging. Or maybe both?
But if he's telling me it's easy for him to have CP, then easy it is.
Good to know.