I remember making a salad when I was a child.
I can’t have been that old, definitely less than ten, and using a sharp knife…unsupervised. My parents must have shown and trained me, I was clearly at a point where they would trust me to cut up items with a knife otherwise they wouldn’t have left me alone…I hope.
Anyway, I remember the feeling of pure happiness when I had finished because I had made a salad. Every bit of it, and did it my way. I felt so grown up.
Last week the daughter was helping me make tea, both children enjoying helping every now and then, but E the most. We’ve been showing her how to use the knives for awhile, very carefully, and recently we’ve been able to take more steps back as she’s learning. I can’t remember what the item was on this particular occasion but I remember it being new, the texture was different to other items she had cut up before. She started doing it one way but struggled a bit, and because it’s a knife and I’m scared, I jumped in quickly to show her the way to do it. She tried it, it’s even more of a struggle than before, then she turns to me and says:
“Let me do it my way”
She takes the knife off me and she is successful. Amazingly so. I wasn’t showing her THE way, I was showing her A way. Actually I was showing her MY way, the way I had figured out. Now it is most definitely the time for her to figure out her way. The same is true for my right hand man. My way won’t always work for him, he has to find his way of completing a task.
Regardless of how many limbs our children have, my daughter showed me just how important it is as a parent to be a guide, who ultimately lets them find their own way of doing things.
Long, long, loooong ago I stopped thinking about the “how” and enjoyed the knowledge that “he will”. The other day I gave my right hand man some bread to rip up, I assumed he’d do it in a particular way, but he didn’t, he chose a completely different route to achieve the same result. He did it his way.
It’s been three years since we found out about our son’s upper limb difference. We smiled then, and we haven’t stopped smiling since. He has taught us so much about shaking off false limits and to celebrate who you are. Don’t underestimate yourself, and always find your own way!