I’m not the biggest soft play centre fan.
It’s a rainy Monday morning, the husband is on standby so we can’t travel far and suddenly I find myself suggesting that we go to a soft play centre…very out of character for me.
Anywho we agree this would be a good idea and off we go to one that I can kind of put up with. As we were travelling there I get this feeling that today is the day we’ll get our first comment and questions off a stranger. I think because I knew he’d be fully exposed with lots of children running around. That’s not to say we’ve been ‘hiding’ him up to now, far from it, it’s simply that in previous outings to such a place he was too small to play so he was either sleeping or being carried around. Now he’s sitting up and exploring what can and cannot be eaten in this world his left arm is much more visible.
We’d been there for half an hour, my husband was in the ball pool with him and a little girl who was about four years old came over and grabbed his left arm.
“He hasn’t got a hand!” She declared
“No he hasn’t” replied Jon somewhat amused and intrigued with where this would lead.
“Why?” She asked.
Jon explained that he was born that way which paved the way for the question ‘Why?’ being asked many times. At one point she declared that her daddy has two hands, which is good to know. They had a nice little chat, Jon gave her space to ask her questions and eventually she went on her way happily playing.
A few minutes later I was playing with my right hand man in a different part of the centre, suddenly she comes running over to us, grabs his left arm and informs me that he doesn’t have a hand. She then holds up her own hand, wiggles her fingers and asks if they had disappeared. Love that question. After a very brief exchange of questions and answers she swiftly becomes more interested in the fact that he had a sister because she had one too.
There ends our first experience of being noticed.
It was nice and sweet. Everyone walked away happy, and now there is a little girl out there who knows that not everyone is born with all their hands and that that is okay.
April is limb loss awareness month, I think it’s just in the USA, I’ve not heard anybody talk about it in the UK. Either way, I think it’s great to have some time to really raise awareness of those who have either lost a limb or been born with a limb difference. The Lucky Fin Project is certainly doing a great job with this. I’d love to encourage you to have extra conversations about those who don’t have all their limbs so more people can know and understand that it is okay to be different and we all have ability.