I got more than I bargained for when I took Ladybug to the neighborhood park this afternoon. A school group descended upon “our” park, and it wasn’t long before I became a bit of a park celebrity. Kids were crowded around me and calling their friends over: “This lady only has one arm! Check it out!”
While it wasn’t what I expected when we left for the park, I am happy to provide a safe space for kids to ask questions of someone who looks different. I was born with one arm, so I’ve some time to get used to answering questions. They quizzed me on the usual topics. How do you peel a banana? How do you write? How do you hug? A few kids were concerned that it hurt, and I assured them that it didn’t. They were also amazed that my daughter, who quietly played in the sand nearby seemingly oblivious to the crowd around me, did not “look like me.” I explained, to the best of my ability, that it isn’t genetic. That it’s just something that happens. My usual line “Everybody is born differently, and this is how I was born” sometimes comforts kids and sometimes doesn’t.
One little girl seemed particularly concerned for me. She asked, “Do you need someone to take care of you?” I just smiled and said that I take care of myself just fine.
I’m happy to answer questions. Check out Fake Arm 101 to get answers to the usual questions. Still wondering something? Feel free to ask. :)