Friday, October 8, 2010


I thought about 2 hours ago that I'd be blogging about my contractions. But now, I have this thing to write. Because I feel so inadequte to deal with it. Oh, the contractions have slowed. I'm on bedrest.

I was laying with Brody after we read our books for the night. We talked about letters and sounds they make. And then he said, "My friends ask me what's wrong wis my arm." And he held up his right arm.

I asked him what he said to them. He said, "I tell dem I'm getting a checkup."

I asked him how he felt when they asked that question. I said, "Do you feel happy? Or sad? Or strange?"

He was silent and he wouldn't look at me. He said finally, "I feel strange. I feeled ..... embarrassed."

And then I hugged him so hard and I told him he had nothing, nothing to be embarrassed about and that his arms were perfect and beautiful just the way they are and I love him and his arms and his nose and when someone asks him what's wrong with his arm he should say "Nothing" and then I told him he was just born that way and he can do everything he wants to and it's cool to be different and have a hand that looks different because it's boring to be the same. And he was hugging me like I was hugging him and my tears were falling into his hair and I just kept telling him over and over how much I loved him and how wonderful and beautiful he is.....

And then I said, "what do we say when your friends ask what's wrong with your arm?" and he said, "Nothing!" and I said "And it's cool to be different," and he said "Yeah! Cool," and he started playing with a toy that he'd been holding and because of how his wrist is bent he can fit it into a part of the toy so I said how cool it was that he could do that with his hand and how his friends couldn't do that....I couldn't do that.

Then he was quiet again and I asked him what he was thinking about and he said what to be for Halloween and now he wants to be Superman. And I made him laugh and giggle, and held him until he fell asleep.

But what the hell?

Already? He feels shame, and that's on us, isn't it? We missed it, and our boy felt ashamed of himself. And I never want him to feel embarrassed again.

So what do I do? We tell him we love his arms but he hears us talking to OTs and surgeons about straightening it. Is that how he learned it? How do I make whatever he learned that made him feel bad go away?

My beautiful, sweet, smart, strong son.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Robyn said...

Oh, honey. It's not your fault. I'm sure he just picks it up in public and from the other kids. He's at an age now where they start to notice differences about one another: skin color, clothing, etc. You said everything right to build up his confidence. He knows that he has a mommy and daddy who love him unconditionally, and that will get him through the tough times. Because, unfortunately, there will be tough times. But you will always be there for him.

Hez said...

Ditto what Robyn said. Big hugs to you and him!!
Have you thought about volunteering at his school? I know that time away from work is difficult. But maybe you or Jeremy could read a book to help the kids understand without putting Brody in the spotlight somehow?? Just a thought.

SaRaH said...

Do you know how freaking BRILLIANT and IN TOUCH and AWARE that little boy is? He thought about the situation, discussed it with you, and could put the word EMBARASSED on the feeling. I'm in awe. Grown adults aren't that together. I love him so so so so so so so so so much. This is not your fault at all -- he went to you with this unusual situation knowing that you would have unconditional love and a whole lot of smarts. I think you handled it just right. You're pretty awesome,too.

Shannon said...

I am also very impressed that he was able to identify and articulate his feelings of embarrassment! Bless his heart!
One thing to maybe think about is that ALL kids, straight arms or not, get picked on. As a mom of two girls, I know my daughters are going to have to go through the same kind of stuff I went through as a kid (girls are so mean) and it breaks my heart. With a mom as fabulous as you, B will be just fine...but I know it doesn't make it any less heartbreaking to know he feels that way.

Christine said...

Thank you, ladies. I love you for your support.

I think I'm going to go read some books on "limb differences" to his classmates and re-deciminate the letter I have to other parents. He still likes going to school, which is a big deal for me, but I want to see for myself what goes on.