I love it when the weather turns.
It finally feels like winter is here, my favourite new scarf has come out, my daughter’s gloves are now attached by string to her coat, and I can find the smallest excuse to make some hot chocolate. Proper hot chocolate, you know, when you simply melt a bar of chocolate in some hot milk. Calories don’t count on cold days.
Recently we have been very blessed with the gift of a second car, which has meant new baby/toddler groups have opened up to me that I previously couldn’t get to due to distance and poor public transport. It’s been great, completely loving my new found car freedom, I’m rarely using it but it’s has really helpful when needed.
New groups has brought with it some new experiences and new things I’ve learnt, which I thought I’d share on here.
The first new group I went to was fantastic, so much fun with music and pretty much just making lots of noise, I know it’s for the children but I loved it! The second new group was a pram walk at my favourite wetland and nature reserve, I’ve had my eye on this group for a long time, so as soon as I had the opportunity with the car I decided to go. Today was that day, we got all wrapped up ready to embrace this cold weather in style, popped on my wellies to conquer the mud and off we went. Wonderful walk, great for exercise, beautiful views, met new people and ended it with cake (remember calories don’t count on cold days) and a warm dandelion and burdock…yummy. Looking forward to going again.
These two groups were completely different to each other but shared the same experience for me, “the looks”. All the other groups I’ve been to knew my right hand man was going to be born with a limb difference so it has never really drawn “the looks”. I was a little bit nervous at first, the people there are far too polite to say anything, but it’s very obvious when they have noticed the limb difference. As I’m sure I am when I see someone with something a bit different. I have absolutely nothing against people looking, it reminds me of this fantastic post from the bornjustright blog, which makes a very good point of seeing a unicorn in a field of horses, you would look because it’s not something you see every day, and that’s the same here.
What I’m finding is that you can see people wanting to ask questions, or talk about it but don’t know whether they should (I think they could be scared of seeming rude) which creates a slight elephant in the room. It’s a bit like the unicorn in the field, they aren’t bothered by it, just curious. What I’ve found is that there’s often a way of bringing up his limb difference naturally, within the conversation, that put’s people at ease and lets them know it’s ok to talk about it. I’m careful about not wading into a conversation with ‘well, my son’s hand, this’ or ‘my son’s hand, that’, but what I’ve been learning is there’s often an opportunity to let people know ‘it’s ok to talk about the unicorn!’, which lets people step off their eggshells and engage before conversation moves on to the next thing. It takes seconds, but the visible difference in facial expressions is great, people instantly relax- and isn’t that what everyone wants?
We have an appointment with a consultant we saw when he was born on Thursday, we’re not 100% sure what we will discuss there but I will be sure to update you via another blog post then.