Today I got to have lunch with three of my girls at their elementary school! It was the first time I've done that this year, and we were all very excited. I feel so lucky to be able to do that. For two reasons:
A) I am grateful that I am physically able to do it - to drive to their school and walk down the steps to their cafeteria. There was a time I thought I'd never be able to do that again.
B) I am grateful that I get to stay at home with my children right now, so I am free to visit with them during work hours.
A week or so ago, I picked up the latest edition of inMotion Magazine "The Living Well with Limb Loss Magazine." Stop laughing. I know it's not Cosmo. But this is what I read now. 😜 (btw- I would have chosen a better emoji, but they don't make laughing triple amputees.)
Back to my point. The cover photo on the magazine was of an amputee mommy and her elementary school-aged child. Right up my alley, right? The feature article had tips for amputee parents as their kids head back to school. The Amputee Mommy has one leg amputated below the knee; she recommended wearing pants for the first couple of visits to school so that your child is not labeled the "girl with the disabled mom," and your child's classmates will get to know you a bit before they are shocked by your prostheses.
So, despite the heat and humidity of North Carolina in September, there I was, walking in to school wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. But it was worth every drop of sweat rolling down my face.
Now, to be fair, many of the students know me from last year, BUT this was my best school visit yet! Not one kid asked me what happened to my leg. Or why my hands looked so strange. I did not notice one kid staring at me. I felt almost like a normal mom. SUCCESS! It is funny that, before my amputations, I used to worry about (not) fitting in with the PTO moms at school. I always felt like I was different. Haha. I knew nothing about being different then.
Later today, my husband Brook asked Caroline (our 9-year-old) about my visit. She agreed that no one really noticed or asked about my hands or feet. Brook kept trying to open doors for her to vent about having a disabled mom. But Caroline interrupted him by saying with confidence, "You know what, Dad? I honestly don't care about that. Everyone just sees her as my mom, and everyone knows she's no different."
Well said, Caroline. Well said.