One of the amazing things about having a child with differences is the community of support available. The hand specialist gave us a sheet with about 10 websites listed that she recommended we check out for support. All of these websites have community support pages. And the community support pages link to other pages and so on and so on. My facebook news feed has all the regular news of my friends and people I went to high school with along with inspirational messages and requests for prayers. It is fantastic!
One of these groups is a very private yahoo group limited to parents of kids with limb differences or kids with limb differences. I love this group. But, I need to set up a filter in gmail to put all these in a folder because sometimes the posts get to be a little much filling up my inbox (okay, that's done)! One of the posts recently was about staring. A new mom wrote in how she feels the need to "explain" her child to everyone she runs into on the street, which is ridiculous and also awkward for everyone. I do not really relate to this as I honestly forget sometimes that my baby even has a limb difference and then remember when people give me that "aww, poor thing, cute baby" smile/grimace thing. But then I went to a friend's house for her child's birthday party and none of the adults asked (one kid did and we explained it very quickly). After leaving the party, I felt a little strange because no one had asked. It was obvious as the baby was wearing short sleeves. Maybe no one asked because they did not want to be rude, maybe because they already knew everything from my friend, but whatever the reason I still felt a little awkward. So now I understand this new mom's desire to explain. If you just put it out there, you do not have to wonder what people think or know. I will not start explaining everywhere I go, but I know I will think about it more than I did up until now. I am feeling apprehensive about taking the baby to work next week because I do not know how many people already know (some I've told, some I'm sure heard through the grapevine). I do not know if I will be faced with a ton of questions or with no questions and I do not know which I prefer.
All this to say, my biggest issue with this aspect of my life is the emotional one. I hope I am emotionally strong enough to handle everything that comes our way, I hope I am emotionally tough enough to help my baby handle everything, but I just do not know how it will go. And those worries are the things that keep me up at night.
Thanks for listening!