It is heartbreaking to be told your child can't do something. As parents, we don't want the world to impose any limits on our kids. That is what happened to Cristina Trapani-Scott when her daughter Kiki Peck was diagnosed with Kniest Syndrome, a form of dwarfism. But that is a reality Cristina and Kiki refused to accept. They shared the details of their amazing story on Katie Couric's talk show.
"I've always tried to prove people wrong," Kiki said. "People have said to me, 'You can't swim.' So I've done swimming. 'You can't dance.' So I've done dancing. 'You can't be in a beauty pageant.' So I've been in a beauty pageant." It's as though being told "no" gives her the strength and motivation to do those things despite her physical limitations. Her mother was supportive and encouraging through every single lesson, meet, contest, and doctor's visit. But Cristina says she had an even deeper understanding of her daughter's will and bravery when she received her own startling medical diagnosis -- breast cancer.
"I just figured I would go out and let people see me bald so I could know what it feels like to be her," said the mom, who endured stares and prying eyes. She told the Daily Mail, "It is important for people to see we are just normal." They have certainly demonstrated that. Another amazing hurdle Kiki has overcome: despite the fact the disorder has caused partial deafness, she is a pitch perfect singer. She even sang Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" for a school performance.
This mom encouraged her daughter to do what should have been impossible -- learn to swim, sing, compete in a beauty pageant. This is the very definition of parenting. It would have been easy to tell Kiki no too. But this mom never accepted that. She helped her daughter meet every dream she had when everyone else insisted she couldn't. We should all strive to be such supportive, positive, and hopeful parents. That doesn't mean making our children do something they can't do -- but it certainly means letting them try.
Are you inspired by this story?