This I Believe

Tami - Canton, Michigan
Entered on October 5, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

My Friend Steve

Let me introduce you to a 7-year-old boy named Steve that has cerebral palsy. I work with Steve everyday. So far, I have found nothing that gets this little man down. This is my second year working with Steve. Let me tell you how Steve and I found each other.

Last year the school offered me a part time position working with a six-year-old boy that had cerebral palsy. My main goal was just to get a job, so I took it. I had no idea what the job entailed. The first day of school was my initial meeting with Steve. I had heard that he needed a walker in order to move around. I knew that the bus would be bringing him, and that I would need to help him get off the bus. The short bus pulled into the school parking lot and stopped in front of the handicap entrance. The doors to the bus opened and the bus driver greeted me with a “Hello”. I waited, but I still could not see anyone except the bus driver. The first thing to come off the bus was his walker. It looked like this huge complicated gadget, and I had no idea what to do with it. The bus drive instructed me how to open the walker. I set it down and turned around, and there he was. Steve was standing in the doorway of the bus. He had bright red hair and a smile that would not stop. I think his smile went from ear to ear, and he had two dimples, one on each side. I knew at that exact moment, that he and I were going to be friends for a very long time.

You see, Steve probably has more things wrong with him than I will ever have wrong with me. To know him and to meet him you would never think of him as being special needs. There have been days when I would show up for work in a bad mood, stewing about the morning I had just had, and then Steve’s bus would pull in. The doors to the bus would open and there would be Steve with his big smile. Anything that I was upset about seems so minimal at this point. Because when I thought about it, I am sure getting to school was a much bigger challenge for him than it was for me, and he was still smiling.

As the year went on, Steve and I became very good friends. He worked very hard for me and did his very best. Steve and I would have races down the hall too see who could get to the classroom first. Our theme song was, “Move it, move it”, from Madagascar. No is not a word in Steve’s vocabulary. He works very hard all the time.

Meeting Steve has changed my life. I thank God for the two kids he gave me and my husband. I enjoy working with Steve so much that I have finally decided to further my education in helping special needs children. I thank Steve everyday for being who he is and for making me who I have become.