Two family photo's of Youssef and Nicole Dib with their two young children

Dad’s leap of faith removed limitations for his son

Written by Youssef Dib, journalist, professional boxer and dad of two. Youssef has contributed this blog as a parent of our client, Jibreel.

Summer holidays. Who doesn’t love them. Toes in the sand, blazing sun, ice cold drinks and who could forget a good old BBQ. Having two children so similar in age (one year and 18 days apart to be exact) can make it challenging to get out and about at times – especially when the younger sibling lives with Cerebral Palsy.

I can understand why some may feel like it would be too difficult to get out to the beach, a park or any place too crowded for that matter. I also live with anxiety and am always overthinking and creating imaginary scenarios that would never actually unfold. “What if I lose one of them?”, “I can’t take my eyes off them for one second”, “What happens when he gets a bit bored and starts to lose it?” These are all thoughts that would run through my head in the early days. I felt like I needed to shield Jibreel from the world in order to protect him. It was my duty as his parent.

Jibreel standing in front of bamboo

However, what I learnt was that sometimes all you need to do is just allow them to take the first step. Allow them to be who they are and allow them to do what they feel like l they are capable of doing. After all, at such a young age, children don’t know anything about limitations. We weren’t sure that Jibreel would ever be able to walk independently and that was a bitter pill to swallow. We were determined, however, to give him the best opportunity to do so. I can’t bear to think of what our reality would look like if I allowed all of my head noise to limit what we would do because of Jibreel’s Cerebral Palsy.

I am so glad that I was able to get past my anxieties, even though it took some time and a lot of healing.  Fast forward a few years now and he is pretty much unstoppable. He is climbing up and down mountains to get to beautiful waterfalls, chasing his sister around at Holiday Parks, enjoying swimming lessons, helping rescue birds and even learning how to fish. It’s amazing to see how quickly children can adapt and, in turn, you learn to adapt with them. Turns out, it wasn’t Jibreel who needed to take the first step. It was us as parents who needed to.

Mum Nicole in a pool giving her son Jibreel a cuddle while he stands on a step in front of rocks

Mum Nicole holding her baby Jibreel and kissing his face, outside on a sunny day with a beach behind them