Time to Call it a Day

IMG_9168.jpgOver the past few years I have galloped through unfamiliar forests of thought, hoping to find a break in the trees, sometimes with abandon, and sometimes with caution. My blog ‘Growing Sideways’ has been a cathartic and timely endeavor. I have been surprised by unexpected affirmation as fellow readers and writers have identified with my questions and ‘ponderings’ with as much curiosity and freedom as I have felt. I have been emboldened by others on more than one occasion, “keep going and keep thinking!” Continue reading

Keeping Up With the Disability Version of the Joneses.

wheelchairBefore we had our twin daughters my wife and I were fancy-free enjoying the big wide world, everything seemed possible. Then one of our daughters suffered oxygen deprivation at birth and severe cerebral palsy entered our world like an indiscriminate burglar ruthlessly stealing potential from our daughter Sunshine. Continue reading

How Pushing A Wheelchair Ruined My Theology and Gave Me Faith

imagesThe wheels seemed to stick to the polished floor as I pushed my daughters wheelchair down the quiet corridor towards her classroom for the first time. As I turned the corner I was confronted by a line of special needs kids, some quiet, some boisterous and some on the other side of a glass wall waiting for class time. Continue reading

Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?

photo inspirationI must confess; I have two responses to inspiring YouTube videos. The ‘wow’ reaction, and the deflated reaction.

It doesn’t take much for me to celebrate the script of the human spirit fighting against all odds, but very soon after I experience something more disturbing that makes me resent outrageously inspirational people. I haven’t quite worked out if that makes me a bad person or not. Hold your judgment for now. Continue reading

The Price of Affection


Today we got the news that my daughter Sunshine’s classmate has died. I know… it is a tough way to start a blog. My wife called me at work to let me know. The school that Sunshine attends will often make contact with parents when fellow students pass away. Unfortunately, Sunshine’s school has a high mortality rate, especially when compared with mainstream schools. All the kids in her class are medically complex and vulnerable – as is she.  Continue reading

Guinness, Friendship and Piss.


guinness-pint-hed-2014So how do I explain this? Lets start when the phone call came at 8:00 am Saturday morning:

“Jay, its Shane – in a spot of bother… my Carer is sick and can’t lift me so I can shower, any chance you could help out? I am not sure who else to reach out to in Melbourne and I am guessing your experience with your daughter Sunshine means you’d be used to the mess of disability.”

 “Yeah, of course Shane… will be there in 20 minutes.” Continue reading

Doing Life With a Lump in Your Throat



Picture – A sunrise from my window reminding me there is a new day.

It is coming up to my twin girls 9th birthday. Fossicking through magazines for party ideas and long conversations about potential games to play warns me of what I am in for when weddings finally arrive on my doorstep. I should start some preemptive counseling sessions now to get ahead of the game! Oh God, if you are truly real – save me now… Continue reading

Special Dads

ImageI have often contemplated if having a special needs kid makes for a special dad. I’d like to think so but the truth is I still burp, need deodorant and annoy my wife, so it is likely that I am ordinary. But maybe that is what makes me special – the fact that I am ordinary.  Continue reading

Normalise Normal

The other day I was strolling through the shopping centre and I sighted a man in a motorised wheel chair. We are always looking for new equipment and often you find out about new things from other mums and dads or the people actually using the equipment. Anyway…as I am walking towards the gentleman in the motorised chair, I saw he had a new type of headrest I hadn’t seen before, my eyes locked on as I tried to figure out how it worked. Continue reading