Yesterday was an awesome day, awesome because the the Matilda’s won their game by a penalty shoot out! Awesome because I met Moya Dodd, Danielle Warby from the Women’s Game, Heather Reid and Sarah Walsh. Awesome because I represented my country as the Matilda’s mascot, awesome because I finally had a kick with my audible ball with Sally Shipard, but most importantly awesome because my family and team mates were there watching on and supporting me 🙂 I am very happy that the Matilda’s won because its not just a win for Australia but it is also a win for girls and proves that girls can be just as good at things as boys. It was a very cool day but it was also very very hard because when I watch sport live or on TV it is hard to see and keep track of the ball. Most people can watch and laugh or talk, but I have to concentrate so hard with my other senses like hearing for example to know what is going on. When a goal is scored I can hear the crowd roar but I get a bit lost in the moment until someone can tell me who it was that actually scored and which team it was. The other frustrating thing is that I have to work out what is worth what! After a big day like yesterday I am not very well and last night I was left feeling very tired and with a very big headache. Today I have been mostly sleeping and resting with a very achy head and eyes, I wish I could be at school today doing sport and art, but I know that I just wouldn’t be able to cope with it. I am not sure how I feel or if there is any point in being angry about it, I guess it is just a part of learning to put up with having a vision impairment. I guess we all have to ask ourselves what is worth it and important to us sometimes? But to be there with the Matilda’s encouraging them yesterday, was to me, super important!
Wow what a day yesterday was. I wasn’t thinking I would have anything to blog about for a few days! I thought all that was going to happen yesterday was that I would be doing cane training.
Well yesterday Mum asked me what I was up to before the Matilda’s game on the 16th June. I said probably just having a sleep in and relaxing. Then said that she was asked yesterday if I would like to be the team mascot for the Matilda’s and escort the team out onto the field for game day!! Holy Cow! I thought she was kidding but no she was for real! And then today there was another story by Capital Football.
I am still amazed that people are interested in me, after all, I am just a kid. I didn’t really think that adults listened to kids, boy was wrong!
I have been meeting some very cool people lately, I even met Sally Shipard yesterday. The best part about meeting the new friends that I have over the last few weeks is that they treat me as part of a team, they treat me like I am normal. I love it because thats how I want to be treated 🙂
Some people are calling me inspirational and amazing although I dont really understand why they think that.
Mum is always saying to us kids “actions have consequences, sometimes good and sometimes bad” she is always saying that if we “lead by example others will follow us”.
Mum’s say all sorts of stuff all the time, but I think I agree with her on that one and I am just really glad that for what ever reason people think I am inspirational, it means that I can help others by my example.
I thought that because there have been lots of people reading different things about me that I should probably explain what they are talking about when they say I have a vision impairment. I haven’t talked about it much for a few reasons but the mains reasons are that it is very hard for me to talk about, and because I am just a normal kid that wants to be just a normal kid doing normal kid stuff. I didn’t even know for a while that I had a ‘vision impairment’. I mean I have always known that my eyes are dodgy, because they turned sideways and sometimes even up and down and they can sometimes look a bit spooky especially when I am tired.
Things didn’t always look they way that they do now, but I just thought everyone saw things the way I did. I mean its not like you sit around in the playground and compare with your friends they way that things look to you is it? I don’t know about other kids but my friends and I don’t talk about that stuff, we mostly talk about football 🙂 Well okay not just football, but certainly not vision! I have also worn glasses for a really long time, and even contact lenses as well for a while. My family and teachers and Dr’s only worked out how bad things were because I am really good at maths but one day I just couldn’t do my work. Not because I didn’t know how but because I couldn’t work out what I was actually looking at. For example with my maths work, I found out that it was a 3D shape drawn on paper, you might all see a cube but I see a flat square. I know what a cube is because I remember what they used to look like and because I can feel it like with my Rubix Cube, but when I look at it I cant tell the difference. You all see a fence ansd Mum tells you can even see around the corners on it, I see a line, just a line.
Even when I am out and about somewhere, you see people, prams, dogs, playgroungs with swings. They way I see those things is like they are flat but moving. When things are moving I can mostly work out that they are because I can hear them or I can see that at one moment a person is at a shop and then a second later they are at the next shop, but what I cant see is how far away they are or how close. I have a real problem with cars and roads especially if it is very quiet car or if there is a lot of traffic like on the way to school sometimes, I cant tell by hearing cause there are so many, so then I have to use my other senses too. It is very hard and some days it is very tiring and frustrating, but I am learning lots of new thing both with my cane and my environment to help me. Even my football is flat, thats why I am so glad I have my new one because I can hear it. There are things that are hard too, for example water! I just cant see it! Half of time I overfill my cup and spill it, the half of the time I don’t put enough in! very frustrating! The only way I know how full it is , is by sticking my finger in it to feel it. and then there are things where colour blends with colour like at school if there is a green post in front of a green door, I only see the the flat rectangle of the door and next thing smack, I have walked into the post. Or on pathways or roads, I cant see the cracks or the potholes, so I fall over things a bit, well that was before my cane. Or another example if there are stairs and they are not marked, you see stairs to me it looks likes a ramp. Sliding doors at places like shops they are very tricky, you see the door, I see whats on the other side because I cant see the glass! again smack I walk into into it. Reading and writing are are hard to but we are working on that. I love that I have an ipad now because it means that I can make everything big and bright and contrasting colours. but do you know how hard it is to get good kids e-books for borrowing! I think they need to make more large print books for kids. Mum tells me that there are lot of people out there saying that I inspire them or that they think I am pretty amazing and very positive about my attitude. I even got a msg from someone saying that they were my biggest fan. I think that that is pretty funny, because I think I am just like anyone else. I have days when I am angry with eyes, and sad about and scared about it and nervous about it. I don’t think anyone needs to be my fan or anyone needs to think I am amazing. I just think to myself, Claire what else are going to do? I mean I still have to get up and go to school, I am still part of a team at football, I am still part of a family. I can’t just not try to things because others will be let down if I do. The only thing I want to worry about is doing whatever I can today and if it is different or tricky or challenging tomorrow, then I will worry about that tomorrow.
But I also want to be an encourager 🙂 I want to encourage others in the same that I have been helped and encouraged by people like my school, Vision Australia, Capital Football, Sigourney Dunk, Liz McPherson, the Matildas, Hesterine de Reus, Moya Dodd, Nicole Sykes, Sally Shipard, The Womens Game, Tuggeranong United Football Club, my Mum and Kel, my Dad, my sisters and brother, and my Poppy.
I think anyone should be able to anything, I just think that sometimes we have to think about things a little bit differently. I am so glad that the people helping me feel the same way.