Thursday, January 11, 2018

Would you do it?

Today, Luca and I went to the Barnes and Nobles story time. There were a bunch of littles there with their parents or caregivers, most were much younger than Luca. I noticed a little guy that was born with no legs and shortened arms, no elbows. I glanced their way and smiled several times.

Instead of focusing on story time, my brain was racing a million miles a minute. It's always do you approach and say something or not... if you DO approach WHAT do you say? "so cool, my daughter was born with a missing hand?" Um no... "Hi I'm Sarah and I'm super passionate about limb differences" Um hello creep! "You were born like my daughter Bella" Nope not true, they are different... ugh. I struggled. Do I say something and what do I say? Will I seem like a creep? Or will the person with this little guy find it helpful? I spent almost 45 minutes debating what to do.

Then I reminded myself, I was once in the shoes of this little guys parents. Though different, very similar. There was a time when I had NO resources, when I knew NO other families of children with limb differences, when I didn't know how to teach my daughter to crawl, tie her shoes or even where she would wear her wedding ring... There was once a time I felt alone in my feelings, that I felt that I had something to do with her difference. I'm sure this kiddos parents wondered many things too. If they are like me, there are still things they wonder.

I grabbed my business card and wrote down a few things on the back: Camp No Limits, Lucky Fin Project, Joshua K_____. On the front, I added my cell phone. I held it close and still thought, how?

Then I said, whatever, I'm going for it. So I approached the person with the little guy and said something like "Hi I'm Sarah, my daughter was born without her left hand and I wanted to give you some resources that might help." She smiled and thanked me saying "I'm not his mom so I'll pass it along." She explained that she was a friend helping. She also said "Most people don't even smile at us". I bent down and said "Hi I'm Sarah, my daughter was born without her hand and I was giving your friend some stuff to share with your parents that you might like. How old are you?" I reached out my hand to shake his hand and he reached out one of his arms and I shook his nub. The little boy said he was 4. I said "My son, I'm here with is 4 too! Do you start kindergarten in the fall?" He was quiet and a little shy. I spoke with them a few minutes and I explained to the friend what each resource was and said to please feel free to have his parents call me if they have any questions or I can help in any way. She thanked me...

It wasn't awkward at all after the interaction started. Maybe they'll never call. Maybe they have all of these resources... but what if, what if they don't. What if ONE of those things can be helpful to them? I'll tell you what if... if it is, I've done my job as a mama and an advocate.

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