Spina Bifida and the BSA Ropes Course

My son was 30 feet in the air climbing on a tight rope and, he has Spina Bifida. This was a moment for him, me and his dad that we will never forget. Let me tell you the story…
We were are the BSA ropes course waiting in line when a gentleman approached us and said to me while pointing at my son “I bet we could get him up there if he wants to try it.” My son (Carl James) was a little reluctant but with the encouragment of the BSA leader, my husband, and myself, he decided he could try it out. 

We got him harnessed in and they developed a pulley system to pull him up. 
Basically for every 5 feet of rope they pulled he would go up 1 foot. It was incredible to see the team working together and heaving and hoeing to get him up there.

 The BSA team was determined that he was going to be able to try out this rope course.

 I apologize for the video being sideways. I think I turned the camera after I started recording. So it’s stuck that way.

Carl James was nervous at first but after a while he started to think it was pretty cool.

After a while he slipped away from the ladder which made him nervous at first but then he was ok

 I was actually very impressed because he tends to be my cautious child but that seems to be dwindling away the older he gets. They got him up to the top where he could walk on the tight rope and boy is that thing wobbly! I had gone with my friend only hours before, so I know!

I wanted my husband to try it,so he was the one that got to go up with Carl James and walk ahead of him and steady the two ropes that he would be holding onto to help him balance a little better. 

It was quite the scene to watch. Not only the people on the ground pulling my son up but to see my husband go for his first time and have to fidget with all of this stuff in his hands to help get things ready for Carl james to cross and then he waited for my son to get down and undid they puley system that they had hung just for my son. Most people it’s just a struggle to get up there and walk across the thing but Carl (my husband) got to get up there and work! Lol. I was very proud of him. Look how busy he stayed…

Our Monkeys

While Carl James and Carl were walking the tight rope our 3 girls had finished their turn in line and had started climbing the rock wall. So I got to bounce around from each of them trying to catch their moments of glory. The entire video is 8 minutes so I tried editing it to only catch Carl James, then Carl, then the girls. I also took pictures while recording the video. ​

It’s always been interesting to have kids on two ends of the extreme when it comes to physical capabilities. While Carl James struggles to walk because of his disability my girls will climb the playground equipment and put the other kids there in awe. It’s a hard balancing act. Making sure Carl James feels included yet the girls have every opportunity to excel where they want to excel. Hiking is our favorite family activity but one activity that really highlights these differences. 

The thing that is the same is that each and every one of my kids truly applies themselves to each task and challenge they face and I am incredibly proud of each of them. 


Morgan tackled this rock wall like Spiderman!



Jaidyn stuck at the top cause she was too light

But Kylee climbed up and pulled on her foot and that have her a start down. She finished getting down on her own



On her way to save Jaidyn

Everyone had a good time and left feeling like superstars! CarlJames told me several times “That guy told me that some people can’t do that and they don’t even have spina bifida and I did it!” Yes little man you did and I am so proud of you!

These people were so sweet and thoughtful though!

Look at all of them pulling!

It was one of those moments in life where your faith in humanity is restored again. Having a child with a disability can be trying and there are many struggles; but one thing that I do get to experience because of his disablity is to see others compassion and we always meet people who have a heart of Gold. I don’t know that everyone else gets the gift of seeing that side of other people and I am always grateful when people open up their hearts and resources to help my son and our family. People are incredible, with their generosity and their tenacity. My son faces alot of hard things everyday that no 10 year old should have to deal with but he has such a great sense of humor and a loving and observant heart. He watches over his siblings and is always eager to play with them and always remembers his siblings and keeps their wants in the forefront of his mind. Kind of like on this day. 

I always wonder if I seem grateful enough. I worry that maybe I am too overwhelmed or stressed to show my gratitude and other days I’m worried if I share too much gratitude I will spill over with tears. Other times I am worried that I will lose my “everything is fine” facade and I might spill out with all of my worries/concerns. So I say thank you, sometimes several times but I don’t always articulate why or how something was so helpful. I hope people can see the gratitude in my eyes and see the weight lifted off of me as they invite and include my son, as they encourage and help my son, as they have patience for him while he walks perhaps slowly in front of them, and especially as they listen to and enjoy him. For those of you that have done this…know that you are appreciated and I notice every bit. Even when you think I am not watching. Thank you for opening your hearts and for sharing your time, talents and resources and for allowing a little boy to feel some extra joy in a life that often has too many hardships. I love you and you hold a special place in my heart.


2 thoughts on “Spina Bifida and the BSA Ropes Course

  1. freedomridersutah says:

    Hi – For some reason I’m not able to post a comment on your blog, but all I can say is WOW! I’m so blessed to know the entire EDDY FAMILY! And I really miss seeing you all. Your words throughout your adventures have been so inspiring and the actions of all of you are fantastic. Truly makes me feel so lucky to have had all of you in my life. Freedom Riders is going to be at the Special Kids Rodeo at Lorin Farr Park today (5:00 to 7:00 PM). If you’re in the area, please stop by. I’d (we’d) love to see all of you and have Carl James show off his riding skills! So many of the volunteers ask about Carl James and your entire family. Miss you. Mary Lou


    • emotionalhealingthroughmovement says:

      Sorry. I accidentally posted publish when I meant to publish “save draft”. You can now look at the post with the pictures!
      I think we are lucky to have YOU in our lives! You are one of those people with a heart of gold I was talking about. My mind was heavily on freedom riders and everyone there while I wrote this post.
      We would love to go to the rodeo but I have already made hiking plans with a friend 😦 The kids were just talking about wanting to see you and Deb though and you know how kids are they want everything immediately. So they are driving me crazy begging to go see y’all. I will call you today to set up a time 🙂


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