My middle child who, I like to refer to as ‘fairy-fart’, ‘spider baby’ or ‘Beast’ is my ride or die. This kid is my animal loving, TV hogging, chore doing, laundry master. She is an amazing equestrian and is always up for anything. Recently she has become a very good little squash player and was accepted into the same school as her older sister and is so excited to attend next year.

Recently, Beast brought home not one, but two waivers for her grade 7 field trip.

What field trip has 2 waivers and permission slips that use words like “death” and “danger” multiple times while warning parents that their children may not have adult supervision occasionally during the day?

I’ll admit, I considered keeping her home that day. But I filled out the waivers and signed them and proceeded to lecture the little Beast on safety.

Beast EARNED her nicknames after mastering the art of a carefree, outgoing, try anything lifestyle. She doesn’t often consider potential consequences and if she does consider them, she pretends like she didn’t and then does what she wants anyway – just to test the waters.

In true Beast form, she admittedly was the first to ride this gigantic swing from the very highest point. She was also the one who reassured her friends when they finally agreed to do it too. But seeing her happy little face return from that adventure was priceless. She showed me videos that had been taken of her activities and she was pumped. Gosh I’m glad my fears didn’t get the best of me and I let her go.

Twelve years of her riding shotgun on my journey of parenting – she is my light on some of the darkest days.

She was home with me during the first few years of William’s life and as a result, she knows all the ins and outs of caring for him. She knows how tube feeding, venting, medicating and diaper changing goes down. She even knows what to do to keep him safe in a dystonic storm or when he is puking and we need to protect his airway.

She is the kid that never questions me when I yell for help and she always knows how to help – even if I’m losing my mind and have tears in my eyes.

She will hand-wash soiled blankets so they don’t stain, she will snuggle with William while I step away for a minute and she always always, always asks how my and William’s day was when I pick her up from school.

Being her mom is a privilege!

~ Keely

Keely is an author and advocate for children living with disabilities. She lives on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, with her husband, her son William who has cerebral palsy, her two daughters and several four-legged friends.