Ariela Gordon-Shaag has been a loyal blog reader and commenter for years. She wrote a guest post on breastfeeding and working, and I interviewed her at Cooking Manager. I met her mother once without realizing who she was, and know a bunch of her cousins. But I haven’t yet met Ariela.
A couple of weeks ago I posted on the Facebook page about a 2010 post on blind parenting that still gets views and comments. Ariela said, “My mom, a polio survivor, raised 5 kids in a wheelchair and is actively helping raise the 14 grandkids who live nearby (the American grandkids get the short end of the stick). She does a much better job from a wheelchair than I do on my two legs. You might want to ask her to write a guest post or interview her.”
So I had a lovely talk with her mother, Dena. I liked what she said so much that I submitted the interview to “Raising Kvell” with the help of associate editor Sarah Tuttle Singer. I’ve linked to many articles on Kveller and I’m pleased to have my work featured there.
In the interview Dena mentions a sound she used to get toddlers to stop in their tracks. I asked whether she had taught her children that trick, and she replied that they wouldn’t have believed her. In the comments on the interview, another wheelchair mom mentioned that she had used the trick as well. Perhaps it works for them because the children realized their mothers had no other way of rescuing them.
Coincidentally, I’ve been reading Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety, the story of a friendship between two young couples who met as young professors during the Depression. One of the wives gets polio after her first baby is born. She goes to a rehabilitation center where they deliberately let the patients fall, so they will learn to depend on themselves. It sounds similar to Dena’s experience recovering from polio with Nurse Kenny’s techniques.
Read it here: Interview with Dena Gordon via Kveller