The picnic we hosted on Friday evening was a rousing success, and all of the families seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. The parents were able to sit and share experiences and insights that come only from raising a child with an amputation while the kids were busy running through the yard, hopping in the moon bounce and laughing.
Robby was a fantastic host. He greeted his guests with a hearty handshake and introduced himself. He then took each family on a tour of the house, showing them the bathroom, the kitchen and, his favorite, the various holes in our ceiling.
Yet again, I have to admit that I was proud of my little boy. He wasn't daunted by the prosthetics and various disabilities of his new playmates. He accepted each child unconditionally and tailored the games to fit their abilities. When he did comment on the prosthetic it was to compliment the various designs that were featured on the socket.
He isn't fazed when he sees an individual with a limb loss or disability. When we are in public and Robby sees another amputee, he thinks nothing of introducing himself and informing his new acquaintance about "Momom's special leg." I rarely have to struggle with an ice breaker when he is with me. For him, prosthetic use is normal.
Saturday evening Robby and I had to run to Target. Of course, we can never have a quick trip to Target. I spent about five minutes picking up everything on my list and 40 minutes standing in the toy aisle while he peruses and studies the cars and assorted overpriced plastic treasures. Trying to get him away from the toys is like trying to get bees away from honey-- it's painful!
Walking through the dinosaur aisle, Robby stopped in his tracks. He knelt down and began to examine a toy through the box. He then reached into my pocket and insisted that I take a picture. Anticipating emailing the photo to Santa that night, I obliged.
But Robby did not ask me to send the picture to Santa that evening. He wanted me to send it to Elliot, my prosthetist. He went on to explain, "The dinosaur has a special arm like Momom's leg. I want Mr. Elliot to see the picture of the arm so that he can build you a leg that looks like that. It would be super duper cool!"
Looking at the picture closely I realized that the dinosaur did, indeed, have a robotic prosthetic arm. It made me chuckle that Robby made the connection so naturally. When I was pregnant I worried that growing up with a prosthetic-reliant mom would negatively impact my child. I've realized that my amputation has had the opposite affect. He is growing into a caring, compassionate and accepting child. I love that identifying and celebrating differences is his "norm."