Saturday, April 2, 2011
This may be trickier than I anticipated
As we got home, some neighborhood kids were playing outside and came over to meet WanYing. It was all going well until I heard the shriek of, "Aaah, what happened to her hands?!?"
Realizing with my keen parental senses that it was time to intervene, I joined the knot of seven-year-olds as Ben was doing a great job explaining Amniotic Banding Syndrome.
I lost track of Ben's explanation as a boy looked at me and earnestly said, "I was just wondering if she was an alien or a child."
I mastered my initial urge to thwack his head and explained that she is very much a child and that these are just the hands she was born with, that it doesn't hurt her at all, and that her hands work for her in really amazing ways like her "super pinky."
The conversation went better from there as the whole group really latched onto the "super pinky" concept (seriously, if there is a place in the Guiness Book of World Records for World's Strongest Pinky, I think WanYing is a strong contender). And as the kids walked away, the girls in the group enthusiastically agreed that when WanYing goes to school everybody's going to think she's the coolest kid in the world and that she's already super-adorable.
I walked away wanting to cry.
I know, I know, the idiot boy meant no harm, he was just candidly expressing his reaction and concern. I know that this is just the first of many such encounters. I know that through my answers I am equipping all of the kids to answer such "questions" with accurate information, patience, and love. I know that we knew that having somebody in the family with more "obvious" need would expose us to lots of extra attention. I know that we decided (and continue to decide) that we are more than up for the challenge.
But right now my heart just aches for my little girl who will someday have to face (a minority of) people who have trouble seeing past the ends of her arms.