CARE & GIVING: Cortney’s Story — Part Two

Thu 05 Jan 2023

CARE & GIVING: Cortney’s Story*

In the next part of our Q&A with Cortney, she shares more about Scarlett’s life.

Share whatever you're comfortable with about Scarlett’s life.

Outside of Scarlett’s cerebral palsy, her life is very similar to most other five-year-old kids. As mentioned, she has a twin brother named Ryder who is her #1 fan, supporter, and playmate. Scarlett and Ryder are and have always been the best of friends. They are complete opposites in every way, so I am often surprised at how well they get along.

I like to describe Scarlett and Ryder with candy metaphors. Scarlett is our chocolate-covered pretzel, sweet on the outside and salty in the middle. For example, if someone says something like, “Oh, what a pretty little girl,” she will strut by them in her walker and, without even passing them a glance, say, “Yeah, I am!” Ryder is our Sour Patch Kid, first sour and then sweet! Ironically, Scarlett’s favorite candy is Sour Patch Kids, and Ryder loves chocolate!

Two toddlers, a girl on the left and a boy on the right sit next to each other on a hill of green grass with a red brick wall in the background. Both children are white and have blue eyes and dark blonde hair. The girl is side siding and is wearing a white bow in her hair, a white shirt with ruffles, blue and white floral shorts, black shoes, and ankle and foot orthotics. She has a big smile on her face and does not yet have all of her baby teeth. The little boy has his back leaned against his sister’s shoulder and is smiling at the camera. He is wearing a blue and pink plaid shirt with jeans and cowboy boots.Like me, Scarlett loves books, and a typical mommy-daughter date for us will consist of a trip to the library or bookstore and a stop at Panera Bread for some mac and cheese. Scarlett is known at school and by our friends and family for her dry sense of humor and her empathy. Last year, one of her teachers told me about a time that a girl in Scarlett’s class fell and bumped her head. Scarlett wheeled over to
check on her, and finding that she was okay, gently patted her head and said,
“I’m glad you are okay, and don’t worry, your hair still looks great!”

Scarlett is probably one of the most decisive people I have ever met. She has very specific preferences, knows what she wants in all situations, and is not afraid to speak her mind. If you were to ask Scarlett what she wants to be when she grows up, she would say, “a mommy.” She loves playing with her baby dolls and pretending like she is my baby (or my mommy and I am the “baby”). She also likes to play pretend school. Her favorite TV shows are Peppa Pig and Bluey, and the only movies she will watch are Lilo and Stitch and Encanto.

Her favorite songs to listen to are “True North” by Rend Co Kids and “Hot Air Balloon” by The National Parks. Scarlett loves flowers and always asks if we can get a bouquet when we pass a flower display at the grocery store.  Scarlett also has started to have a bit of an eye for fashion, which she did not get from me. The two people Scarlett is most like are my older sister, Candace, and my late Grandma. Scarlett shares her middle name, Nicole, with Candace, so when she does something my sister would do, we say that “her Nicole is showing.”

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*Cortney's story is part of CARE & GIVING. This series covers a few different aspects of the cerebral palsy community. It features the experiences of those who care about and for people with cerebral palsy, including parents and caregivers, therapists, paraprofessionals, and other allies. It also highlights donors who have made it their mission to move cerebral palsy forward, because care and giving go hand in hand.

The CARE & GIVING blog is intended solely to raise awareness about the varied human experience with cerebral palsy and shouldn't be read or construed to contain any medical advice or medical endorsement by Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. Only you and your doctor know what's best for you. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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