The girl, my daughter, the one who genuinely thinks she’s Elsa!
Obviously this blog is about my right hand man and our upper limb different journey together, however a journey I’d never fully considered was that of my daughter as a sibling to someone with an upper limb difference.
She’s growing up far too fast at the moment, she’s clever, funny, enjoys dancing and performing, is scared by teeny tiny dogs but huge horses several times bigger than her she’s absolutely fine with! Go figure. She’s also showing a new stage of processing the world around her and with that she’s noticing differences.
She’s started introducing her brother to people we’ve just met like this: “This is my brother, he has one hand and one arm.”
On Christmas day morning we told her that she might need to help her brother open his presents, “Because he only has one hand?” She asked, “No! Because he’s a baby and doesn’t fully understand unwrapping.” We replied.
Watching some of the Cbeebies Pantos on catch up, she spots the presenter Cerrie Burnell, “Oooh she has one hand and one arm too!!”
The amazing Reach magazine will come through our door and she loves flicking through it to see other people who look like her brother and learning about how everyone is different.
At the dinner table the other night she bends one arm at the elbow and declares that she has one arm and one hand too!
Without a doubt she is realising that her brother looks different to many of the people around her, but what’s great is that through the representation of differences increasing on main stream media she can see that he isn’t alone and she is learning that different is awesome (again a great book if you haven’t yet bought it).
When we found out about my right hand man’s limb difference we understood that one day we will more than likely have a conversation with him when he realises he is different to many around him, it’s a bit like knowing your child is likely to ask where babies come from. We hadn’t fully thought that our daughter would have that moment too, I guess (rather naively) she would simply accept that’s how he is because that’s all she’s know. Obviously that was incredibly silly because accepting who he is and having that moment of realisation aren’t mutually exclusive.
It’s wonderful to see her process and learn about differences, and I’m excited to see how her journey develops.