Happy 1st Birthday to My Right Hand Man.
I have to admit that I’m slightly obsessed with Pinterest, people tell me that I’m creative but I’m not, it’s simply that I’ve absorbed so much Pinterest that I am now a living, walking Pinterest board. I was, and still am, a scrapbook kind of person. Mood boards if I felt like being a bit posh. Pinterest plays to that strong side of me. I have board for all sorts of things, from Christmas ideas to brunch (LOVE brunch…and brinner, pretty much any day with multiple versions of breakfast is a winner for me), and from fashion to children’s activities. My life wouldn’t happen the way it does without it…which is kind of scary.
It’s not surprising then that it’s through Pinterest that I came up with ideas for my right hand man’s first birthday party, with the theme “How Time Flies”. It’s a good job we have a small house otherwise I could have gone crazy with it. As my GCSE art teacher use to remind me, I need to keep it simple sometimes!
It’s thanks to Pinterest that I was able to recognise a quote on a present from my right hand man’s Godmother from one of R.S Grey’s books (adapted to suit gender). I wish I could read for pleasure, but I can’t, only for work related things for some reason, so Pinterest helps educate me with its bombardment of “inspirational” quotes…also Etsy and notonthehighstreet.com.
I love this present so much. It’s a great quote and a great reminder to be limitless, but it also highlights a very important thing…that my right hand man is going to grow up surrounded by people who love him, care for him and encourage him to live life without limits. To try. To dream. To just go for it.
Many of you know our story, and know that we were unusual in our reaction to the news that my right hand man would be born with a limb difference. We smiled, we were happy because we knew from the start that he would be okay and still be able to achieve whatever he would like to do. A super massive part of that is because I’d grown up watching someone with an upper limb difference grow up. I’d seen how difference are awesome (A great book if you’ve not read it yet). Isn’t being educated about the people who live in the world and the variety that exists such a blessing? However, that doesn’t remove some of the worries. My biggest one is the “world”, how the “world” will treat him, will they limit him? Judge him? I worry about teenage him struggling with self esteem and body image…so much that feels out of my control because to me he is perfect (even when he is in a major grump because of teething), to me there’s nothing he can’t do because I know he will find a way to do it…his way. Receiving a present like that is a wonderful reminder of the vast amount of people in his life who feel the same way we do. Who are journeying with us.
This has been an interesting year, I still stand by what I’d learnt on maternity leave. We are so grateful to all the fantastic limb different communities out there (Lucky Fin Project and REACH) and all the bloggers (too many to list but you’re all seriously amazing). I recently watched the BBC documentary by Sally Phillips “A World Without Down Syndrome” as a parent of a child classed as disabled I must say I found some of it quite hard to swallow. It’s a great documentary, btw, if you’ve not watched it. One of the tough bits was a gentleman who described his child as having good genes because there wasn’t anything ‘wrong’ with him, does that mean that some people have ‘bad genes’? Who on earth determines what are ‘bad’ genes and what are ‘good’ genes. Does my son have ‘bad’ genes? I’m telling you right now, he most certainly does not. He’s perfect. His physical difference may be rare but we all have differences, we are all awesome, and we are all limitless.
“He believed he could so he did” … too darn right! We may have some rocky years ahead, we may have to deal with some ugly sides of the world, but I firmly believe that with the fantastic communities around us, and our amazing family and friends, that we have a beautiful adventure awaiting us. I hate the first year, some people love that baby baby stage…not me, I’m very glad it’s over. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, far from it it’s been incredibly beautiful and I wouldn’t change a thing about it, however I’m very excited about what’s ahead and to continue watching my right hand man proving those limiting people, the doubters, all wrong.
I feel it’s incredibly fitting to finish with this epic quote from the amazing Molly Stapelman, founder of Lucky Fin Project:
“A child born with a limb difference is whole. They have not lost anything for this is the way they were born. There is no altering of what they would have done – it is simply a matter of what they WILL DO with what they have. Though to some people it appears that our children have lost something, the unseen is what they have been given. And just like their limb difference – they were born that way.”