Purpose Behind Pumpkin Carving

Today I am very happy to have one of the absolute best people I know guest posting. Lisa is a dear friend that even though she lives clear across the country, we still manage to keep in touch. We became friends because Gracie and her oldest daughter became fast friends since kindergarten. She is one of those people I truly admire. I saw her pumpkin carving on Facebook the other day and knew I wanted to her to write about making it here. 
Halloween is coming up and it is time to carve some pumpkins.  Some carve scary faces, funny faces, symbols for sports teams, something challenging, something funny, and some carve something special to them.  This year I wanted to carve something dear to my heart.  Something that represented my son and his victories.  Something that represented the community we have joined.
I first saw the new accessible icon in an article posted on FB about how NY had approved it’s use in place of the standard wheelchair symbol.  As a mom of a son with Cerebral Palsy, who utilizes a manual wheelchair to zoom around, this new symbol immediately appealed to me.  My son’s wheelchair is his access to freedom – freedom of movement that his legs just will not support.  It enhances his movement the same as glasses enhance vision.
The old symbol reinforces stereotypes that we may not even be aware we believed until we face mobility issues personally.  The disability community is one that anyone can join at any time.  An accident, illness, old age can all lead you here.  Think about how you would want to be treated and viewed.  Instead of a passive person waiting for assistance in a stationary wheelchair, this new icon represents empowerment, freedom, independence, movement, different ability.  It helps us break away from the focus on ‘dis’ and reinforces noticing the ability.
accessibilty pumpkin
Instead of dwelling on the things our son cannot do, we try to focus on the things he can do.  Wheeling, and wheeling fast, is one of those things.  That is how he earned the nickname of ‘Speedy’ at his Inclusive school.  That is why his sister chose spoke covers with flames on them for his wheelchair.  And that is why I carved this pumpkin just for him.  And for all the trick or treaters to see that a kid in a wheelchair can be fast and powerful, just like them.
Here is a template for you.

new wheelchair sign

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  1. It sounds like you handle the challenges he faces head on and are instilling a positive can-do attitude in him.

  2. Such a great story! Thank you for sharing the purpose – I love it!

  3. What a great purpose! Thanks for sharing your story! He will be stronger in the long run simply for the way you handle his challenges! Way to go!

  4. I definitely like that symbol! Just because someone is wheelchair bound does not mean they just sit there and do nothing all day. As a matter of fact I will bet they have upper body strength that surpasses weight lifters!

  5. Although my family doesn’t carve pumpkins I think the reason behind this symbol is fantastic!

  6. What a story! Thank you for sharing it. I love the fact that you’re encouraging his ability and not focusing on his disability. I can only imagine how fast he can go which earned him that nickname.

  7. Way to go mama. You really are facing the challenges and overcoming them. Plus love the nickname Speedy.

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