Earlier tonight I was angry about the way a mother was having to get signatures on a petition in order to get her special needs child a heart transplant. I was railing against a belief in society that someone with developmental delays is someone deemed less worthy than “normal” people. Less worthy of a heart. Less worthy of life.
And then I talked to my next podcast guest and I feel like the world is a good place again with amazing people in it.
Rachel Callander is my next guest. You may know her from her amazing book The Super Power Baby Project.
She lost her daughter Evie five years ago unexpectedly. Evie was two and a half.
So much of Rachel’s story resonates with me and I was so excited and honoured to speak to her tonight.
She has created a book which aims to change the way we talk about disability. Instead of deficits we talk about super powers. It features photos, captured by Rachel, of babies and young children in New Zealand with a variety of special and medical needs. Each has a write up explaining what makes them a super power baby.
The book came out before Eva was born, but if I could have put Eva in that book I would have talked about her uncanny ability to know when I was coming in the room, even though she couldn’t see or hear me. I would have talked about her ability to community through touch, how she knew it was her bath just by the sheepskin she was lying on. I would have talked about her smile which never failed to make anyone looking at her smile right back. I would have talked about her ability to recover from pain after doctors and nurses would poke and prod her with needles. And I would have talked about her amazing rolling, how if you turned your back on her she would have made it across the room in no time. She, like Evie, was a super power baby.
I am beyond excited to have Rachel for the next episode and I can’t wait to share it with you all.