There’s A Place For Each Small One…

During the holidays, we dug through the drawer with all of our old DVDs looking for the Christmas movies to introduce to Nora.  Disney’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol was one of them. The Mickey’s Christmas Carol DVD has three other “bonus” cartoons, with a special one titled Small One. I had never seen this animated short film before that was produced in the late 1970’s.  I fell in love with it instantly.  And to me,  the message in this movie speaks to our hardest hit scoliosis warriors.

The story tells of a young boy, outside Nazareth, who has a small donkey that can no longer live with a farming family because he cannot earn his keep. The donkey is playful and good spirited, but he is older and smaller than the other donkeys. The father tells his son that the donkey must be sold, but when the son brings the donkey into town, the pair is ridiculed and mocked. The son loves the donkey and is hurt over all the abuse that they suffer. The redemption comes when they encounter a man seeking to purchase a donkey and he shows them respect and kindness. The man needs a gentle…special donkey to carry his pregnant wife to Bethlehem. The boy sells the donkey to the kind man and watches as the couple and donkey leave on their journey as a bright star appears in the sky.

While they don’t say it, it’s clear the kind man was Joseph. And he was looking for a donkey to do the very important job of carrying Mary, pregnant with baby Jesus to Bethlehem. The point is that despite his appearance, this donkey will play an important role in history. It’s a story that has Christian themes, but transcends religion and really is a story about friendship, sacrifice and purpose. And how each individual deserves dignity, everyone has their place, and kindness should be shown to everyone.

The beautiful, haunting and even heart-rending, theme song has such meaningful lyrics. The obviousness of the song immediately reminded me of all the stories I have read from parents, teens, and adults on numerous support groups about their struggles with what severe scoliosis and the surgeries they have had to endure have left them with… How they have been robbed of something that seems so basic…Stature. So many heartbreaking stories that showcase the cruel world we live in where being exceptionally short and different is a punishment in this world.

The song from this movie is kind, sweet, and purposeful.  Reminding that all are  loved and needed and they too can play an important role in history.  Maybe this is why I fell in love with this movie the way I did and got chocked up every time I watched it. Here are the lyrics:

Small one, Small one, Don’t look so blue
Somewhere a friend is waiting for you
Someone still needs you to brighten his day
There’s a place for each Small One
God planned it that way
Time is passing, days are few
Give while you can to one smaller than you
All things living great and small
Each brings a gift that is needed by all
Small one, Small one, Don’t look so blue
Somewhere a friend is waiting for you
Someone still needs you to brighten his day
There’s a place for each Small One
God planned it that way.

You can watch Small One here on YouTube or just listen to the theme song which is played in the opening credits.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGa6oCxhpZA&noredirect=1

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Why I Wish Early Onset Scoliosis Used Any Other Word Other Than “Scoliosis” In Its Name

As soon as someone outside of my new Early Onset Scoliosis Support Family learns my daughter has EOS, they almost always tell me how they know someone with scoliosis. Which isn’t surprising, one in forty people have some form of scoliosis. The key words there are some form.

Most people don’t understand how vastly different Early Onset is from scoliosis that develops in adolescents (the most common form) and adults. Heck I didn’t at first either; the first place I went when we got the diagnosis was The Scoliosis Research Society of the US; which in my opinion is an extremely disappointing organization. The majority of the information they have on EOS is INACCURATE or very outdated. It took me awhile to learn that because why would anyone question an organization that large and with that much authority? It’s an embarrassment and is a huge disservice to patients with EOS and their families looking for information. Much of the information they have on Congenital Scoliosis is also outdated and inaccurate.

But I digress… Why is early onset scoliosis so different from the other forms (and I’m not even getting into where Congenital Scoliosis fits in all of this)? To put it simply…it’s the most difficult orthopedic condition to treat in children. It’s also has the potential to be fatal.  When a curvature over 20 degrees develops in the spine of an infant that is naturally growing at rapid speeds it going to get worse and can impact heart and lung development. Surgery at such a young age will also negatively impact the overall growth of the spine and child not to mention heart and lung development. These things generally cannot be said to the same degree when speaking of scoliosis in adolescents and adults.

The seriousness and vast difference is in part why I wish EOS had some other name. Because everyone knows someone with scoliosis, again, it occurs in one in forty people, and the large numbers of those are living with mild forms and are able to manage their scoliosis and that’s what people often associate scoliosis with.

I’m just a mom who is trying to take this diagnosis we were handed and find ways to educate the world, help others along their journey with this diagnosis, and ultimately make a difference. Knowledge is power. Now if only the Scoliosis Research Society could get on board too.

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