New Must-Read Kid's Book Explores a Girl's Adventures on Daddy's Chair
In this new children's book, We Can Go Anywhere, My Adventures on Daddy's Chair, love and imagination transform a wheelchair into a source of adventure and freedom for a father and his daughter.
Insightful Book Sparks Discussion about Disabilities, Possibilities and Acceptance
In 2009, 15 years after suffering a spinal cord injury at C4-5 and having recently gotten married, I was over the moon that my wife and I were having a child. But that excitement was tempered by fears—how was I was going to pull my weight? How was I going to feed her? I wanted to hold her and get on the floor to play, but I knew those things were going to be difficult if not impossible.
But when Elaina was born, we found ingenious work-arounds. My daughter could rest on a U-shaped nursing pillow on my lap. An adaptive device that enables me to hold a cup worked perfectly with a baby bottle. And as soon as Elaina could hold up her head, my wife strapped her to my chest in a front carrier.
We then became a team. My wheelchair was her ticket to ride, and Elaina gradually became my hands: opening jars and doors, moving the pieces in a board game, making a sandwich.
Through her sense of imagination and wonder, we find new adventures every day and I wanted to capture that in a fun story. I wrote the book primarily for Elaina, as a keepsake, but my friends and relatives encouraged me to publish it, insisting that the book's message of resilience would resonate for other parents in wheelchairs and could open dialogue for all families about disabilities and acceptance.
All children who have read the book can relate to the love and imagination in its pages, but many are also now asking questions about disabilities and frequently noticing how people are different.
I learned that we can all learn a lot about looking past a challenge or limitation through the innocence of a child's imagination. To everyone struggling with life after tragedy, I say, find the positive, don't lose hope. Your heart and your mind will take you farther than your body ever could have.
I think about all the injured veterans and the young men newly facing a spinal cord injury who have a small child waiting at home, or who had dreams of fatherhood, maybe this book can show them that this is possible.
About the Author:
Glen Dick's career as a landscape architect, his sense of adventure and zest for life were temporarily slowed, but not defeated, by a spinal cord injury in 1995. The birth of his daughter helped him see that his limitations were actually a blessing that have led to hours of creative imaginative play. Glen has been visiting schools and talking to kids about the science behind spinal cord injury, life in a wheelchair and using your imagination, especially when you don't think things are possible! To find out more about their adventures or to purchase the book, visit facebook.com/WeCanGoAnywhereBook. He lives in Chalfont, PA with his wife and daughter, but their adventures take them all over the world.
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