The Special Needs Parenting Story I Hear in This Children's Song


Julia Anne 9 months
Julia Anne 9 months

My daughter Julia’s favorite album right now is “Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow.”

She walks around the house holding her iPad up to her ear like a boom box, using her nose to navigate between songs like “Sneaky Snake,” “How to Talk to a Little Baby Bird,” and “I Wish I Had a Million Friends.” It’s a super cute album, very catchy – but she’s been listening to it so much lately it’s almost become white noise to my ears.

Except for one certain little song. “The Song of the One-Legged Chicken…”

It goes like this:

A one, two, three, one, ready play~
Do you like true stories? I do
That’s why I’m singing this song
The song about the one-legged chicken, 
who lives in the straw on the floor in my barn
 
I remember the day she was hatched out
The vet came to see her and said, 
“That chick has just one leg, she’ll never grow up. 
I think that she would be better off dead.”
I said “No! Let’s just let her keep growing, 
we’ll just wait and see how she gets.”
 
Before very long she was hopping 
and pecking and chasing the bugs with the rest
 
Now she is a beautiful chicken, 
though she has only one leg
When I go to see her each morning, 
she hops from the nest and she lays me an egg
 
And she cackles – booook, bok, bok, bok
 
Do you like true stories? Well I do, <
that’s why I’ve sung you this song
The song about the one legged chicken 
who lives on the floor in my barn

Julia Anne 9 years
Julia Anne 9 months

And suddenly the white noise clears, and I am hearing a true story. Not the one he is telling – about the sweet little chicken – but a different true story about a different little chick I happen to know.

It’s the song of my sweet, little Julia…
Do you like true stories? I do
That’s why I’m writing this song
The song about my sweet, little Julia,
who shows us each day that different’s not wrong
 
I remember the day of her ultrasound
The doctor looked inside her head,
“You may want to consider aborting.”
(He might as well’ve said “She’d be better off dead.”) 
We said “No, let’s just let her keep going
We’ll just wait and see how she gets.”
 
Before very long she was breathing,and growing, and learning along with the rest (of us, who have a lot to learn)
Now she is our perfect, sweet daughter, 
although she is not like the rest.
When I go to wake her each morning, 
she gives me a smile and I know I am blessed. 
 
And she giggles. Heee! He! He, he!
 
Do you like true stories? Well I do
That’s why I wrote you this song
The song about my sweet, little Julia,
who shows us that different’s not wrong.

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