May 30, 2010


A commonly asked question among parents of children with limb differences is, "At what age did your child start to notice their difference and how did you handle it?" It is pretty much inevitable that at some point your child will come to you looking for answers.

I never really pictured it as being one distinct moment, but more of an awareness that develops over time, bit by bit.

There have been a few times when I noticed Gavin sort of inspecting his little arm very intently.

And really, how could he not notice, with all the times it has been pointed out to him by people asking questions and wanting to look at his arm or touch it. He obviously hears our explanations and children understand so much more than we give them credit for most of the time.

Anyways, tonight when we were getting him ready for bed he was looking at his little arm. He touched his little nubbins and then pointed to them and asked me, "This??"

I told him, "Ya. Those are your little fingers."

My mom came into the room and I told her what just happened. She told him, "Yes. Those are Gavin's!" and asked if she could give them a kiss. He held out his arm for a kiss from Gramma and it made me smile :)

I asked him, "Can you kiss it too?" and he gave his little arm a BIG kiss with smacking lips and everything! My mom and I laughed. It was SO cute. Of course, then he thought he was funny so he kissed his arm over and over and laughed with delight.

I know there are bound to be some tough moments as he gets older. I hope he doesn't struggle too much with his self-image. And I hope he will always be able to kiss his arm and laugh.


  1. Nice..Sebastian, 6 1/2, never really had a moment where he asked. I think that there were a couple of times where he did ask why he didn't have a hand...
    And yes, just as you wrote, we found out that he would mimic our answers to the question, "what happened to his hand?" I was just born that the family response. One of the more challenging questions was what to call the end of his arm? Left arm didn't seem appropriate. We ended up calling the end of his left arm "palm" because his arm extends to about the wrist region and has a fleshy prominence at the end and the skin feels just like the palm on his right. So its palm. Having a name really, really makes it easier for us and everyone else as well. I honestly don't know what other families do for naming..interesting..I'll have to look into it. We rarely run into others with limb differences in our small northern michigan town.
    Gavin is adorable!! look at that beautiful smile :) Amy

  2. Thanks for your comments! :)
    Having a name does make it easier, I think. I'm sort of waiting to see how Gavin refers to it although he would probably take his cues from us and we mostly just say "left arm" or "little arm". A word I do not like is "stump"...I don't know why but I just hate it.