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Journeying with Him

I’m saying the word ‘Journey’ more times than an episode of Strictly It Takes Two at the moment.

Sorry, not sorry.

Clearly I’m in some kind of reflective pondering mood. This happened last year when I wasn’t drinking much Prosecco…it’s been quite awhile since I’ve had some now. Maybe I’ve found the link?!

On Monday we had our first appointment with the team of people who will be dealing with my right hand man’s prosthetic needs over the years. I do find I’m fumbling along when it comes to appointments for him, I don’t know if it’s just me, but so often I’m not really sure what the meeting is all about or what to expect.

This was a meet and greet, which I had suspected but still didn’t fully know what would happen. Over the coming weeks we’ll have more appointments to meet the rest of his team including an occupational therapist. It was an incredibly positive meeting, the best we’ve ever had regarding his arm. I left feeling connected, understood and informed. Thumbs up from us!

Interestingly it was the first time any medical person told us about the charity Reach. It shows the power of social media because if it wasn’t through connections on there we would have gone this far down our limb different journey unaware of such a support network.

It’s been a few days since the appointment and it’s given me time to absorb the information we were given, and I’m not just talking about the snazzy ‘independent living’ brochures (see featured image)! A couple of things have clicked in my head. Some of you reading this may think I’m a bit silly for it only just clicking now as it’s probably pretty obvious, but it’s amazing how sometimes you can be looking at something for ages before you actually start to see it.

The first thing is the “J” word…Journey. Whilst training to be a youth worker a marvellous youthworker lady would talk about journeying with our young people. It’s not about standing from your position of faith and saying “hey come here and join me” expecting them to just ‘get it’, it’s about walking to where they are and journeying with them exploring their doubts, concerns, joys etc with them so then, if they choose to believe, they fully own their faith. If you are someone who works through visual aids, here are two crude images I’ve just made regarding the method of ‘journeying’. Sorry if you need to pop your glasses on to read the text!

Not right
Not right
Better...although you could question whether the distance between youth worker and young people is safeguardingly appropriate.
Better…although you could question whether the distance between youth worker and young people is safeguardingly appropriate.

I think we can all agree that this is the best illustration of a point EVER! Through this appointment I’ve realised the same is true here in our parenting of my right hand man. We might be in a position of positivity, accepting that he’s different, loving him for his entirety, a position of no limits, of being beyond okay in him walking around in a short sleeved top meaning his difference is on show, but that doesn’t mean he will spend his whole life being that way too. As parents it wouldn’t be good if we just stood there as he grows saying “hey, come here and join us” expecting him to just ‘get it’. We need to walk along side him and journey with him, exploring the doubts, the lows, the times he might not want to be making his difference obvious in short sleeved tops, the joys etc, so then he can fully own his feelings towards his difference and hopefully it will be a place of positivity. As we’re fumbling around on this journey anyway that shouldn’t be too hard!

The second thing is a change in our thoughts towards prosthetics or tools aimed at helping people living independently. We’ve always said we’ll wait to let him make the decisions about whether he wants one or not, or whether he would like tools, such as this loop thing which allows you to fasten buttons one handed, or whether he wants to find his way. Pretty much a reactive attitude. It dawned on us during the appointment and then has taken hold over the past few days, that in order for my right hand man to make these decisions he needs to know what his options are, to play, explore and own his decisions. That’s true empowerment. You’ll now see us saying yes to items rather than pausing and waiting to see what happens, so as he grows he has the choices.

I’m really looking forward to getting to know this team of wonderful people over the years. I’m excited about where this journey will take us. Any advice or experience you would like to share on this subject is more than welcomed.

The J word word count = 9 (I think)

2 opinions on “Journeying with Him”

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading this.
    I have a gorgeous 3-year-old boy called Freddie who has a limb difference. I completely agree with you about having the prosthetics around. We’re actually in the process of getting another made so that it’s there as an option if he wants it.
    I also love what you say about the journey. Freddie recently said ‘I wish I had two hands’ and I was immediately there swamping him with all sorts of positives, rather than listening and being there with him. It’s such a hard one as a parent because I want to say you don’t need two hands, you’re perfect as you are. But you’re right, he needs to know that himself, and I need to help him get there, rather than preaching.
    Thanks! Jenny @ The World We Give Our Children

    1. Hi Jenny, thank you for your comment :) it was a bit of a light bulb moment when I put it all together, I hope I can follow through when the time comes. Love your blog btw :)

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