“What do your kids think about you having one hand?” I always reply the same way, they don’t know any different so they think nothing of it. To them, that is what moms are supposed to have-it’s normal. Lennox doesn’t bat an eye when I stroke her hair with my little hand, she doesn’t pull away when I hold her hand and she doesn’t second guess for a second that I can open up everything she brings my way. She gives me manicures only on one hand and never seems to care why there are only one set of nails to paint. I want to raise my children that it is okay to be different and nothing changes the way you treat someone- even someone different than you. But the day has come. The day I have dreaded since before having children. The day Lennox recognized my hand as something that makes other kids uneasy, therefore the start of something that could ultimately embarrass her.
Now that Lennox is at a school with kids a little older, her friends are starting to point out the fact that her mom has a “little hand”. She looks at me and then at them confused because she doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. They don’t mean any harm by it but like I mentioned in a previous post, kids are curious. After my hand was pointed out for the first time I immediately felt saddened and a bit guilty for putting Lennox in that situation- I never want to embarrass her nor do I want to give kids any ammo to make fun. She didn’t think much of it though and was on her way continuing to play with her friends, a bullet dodged for the moment.
I went to pick the kids up from school a few days ago and parked right near the playground, there were a bunch of kids playing just like any other day. I went inside to pick up the kids and as we were all walking out to load up into the car I hear, “Look! It’s the mom with one arm!” If I could insert an eye roll, this is where I would do it. I can take it, I just laugh it off and move on. Lennox on the other hand was taken by surprise. She looked at me and then back at the boy. I acknowledged the boy by saying, “Yep! I’m the cool mom that has one arm” and loaded them up. As we were driving home, Lennox finally asked me THE question. “Mommy, what happened to your arm?” Lump in my throat, tears welt in my eyes, I answer her back the best way I know how. (You’d think I would be prepared for this moment but I just wasn’t.) I told her simply, “Honey, I was born like this. God made me different.” She surprisingly accepted that answer and we talked a little more about it. I continued with the “being different” speech as I do with any child that asks, referencing the different hair and skin color of other people as examples. We also talked about a sweet boy that was in her class last year that wore hearing aids (you know who you are and we love you!) I kept it as light and simple as I could. I could have cried when the next words came out of her mouth. “mommy but you’re so beautiful.” If she wasn’t in the third row I would of reached around and hugged her. She didn’t understand what was going on in that very moment for her mama, but I did. She clearly wasn’t too concerned with the conversation because it quickly turned into which snack I was going to get her when we got to the house. Typical.
I couldn’t shut my mind off after that. I kept thinking of the different ways I was going to handle this situation going forward. My tactic this time seemed to work for now but she is only in Pre-K. What happens when she is in middle school where the kids can be the absolute worst? Will they make fun of her because of me? You’re probably shaking your head no, thinking no way that happen but it is a legitimate feeling I have now that I am a parent. I also remember how mean kids used to be and I can’t say it’s gotten much better. I can only hope that she will stick it to the mean kids and not feel embarrassed by it. I want to teach her confidence and self love, I want her to feel beautiful and see that in others too. I have a few more years before then. One day at a time, Danahia.
I have been thinking a lot about why I blog, what my purpose is and why it means so much to me. I want to inspire others but more than that, I want to spread awareness of differences in children so that our future will be kind and compassionate. I want to show my motherhood side where I talk about products I love, tips and tricks because that is WHO I AM. I am not defined as the “mom with one arm”, I am a damn good mom that happens to only have one hand and I rock it every.single.day.
What do I want? I want my kids to grow up treating everyone with kindness; I want them to see others with differences and be their friend. I want to change the way differences are looked at and spread love to one another instead of hate. I want my babies to feel proud of their mama and leave behind a legacy where they feel confident in the people they are raised to be. I will be introducing my next series to you very soon, if you do not already follow me please do so that you don’t miss out on this one! Until then, stay humble and kind. Love ya!
Your fellow mama,