January 3, 2012

Protective Mama

My biggest worry with Gavin is how he will deal with the extra challenge of always having to deal with other peoples comments and stares and having to constantly explain why he doesn't have a left hand.

I imagine he will be strong enough to deal with it and that he will be a better person because of it. But it still doesn't make it easier for this protective mama. 

Today we were at the library and he saw two kids playing with a truck together. He really wanted to play with them but was too shy to ask so he was just kind of hanging out right beside them. The little boy was about 4 or 5 and I saw the exact moment he noticed Gavin's arm. His jaw dropped and he took a double take and then just sat there with his mouth wide open and STARED hard. Then he pointed it out to the girl he was playing with and then called another kid over to look. Then continued to stare.

I looked at Gavin and saw him pull his coat sleeve down over his arm to hide it.

I have never seen him do that before and it just made me so sad.

I don't blame kids for staring. Of course they are fascinated by it when they have never seen anything like it. I get that. The girl asked me what happened to his arm and I said what I usually do. Then like most kids do, she just stared at me blankly like that wasnt a good enough explanation and then asked "but where's his hand?". I always encourage kids to ask Gavin and let him answer but I also don't want to put him on the spot either. It hurts me to wonder how he feels in those moments. Is he used to it by now already? Or does it make him feel _____? I don't know. I asked him in the car why he pulled his sleeve down and he just said "because i don't like those kids". I just wish I could take his place and that he wouldn't have to deal with it every time he meets someone new for the rest of his life.

But all we can do is try our best to teach him that it's ok (and even cool!) that his arm is different and he can still do anything he wants in life. Right now it's not a big deal but I know there will be hard phases as he becomes older and goes to school without me tagging along as his advocate. 

But it doesn't make sense to stress about the future and the unknown. So we just keep taking it one day at a time. 

1 comment:

  1. It is so hard when we see this happen. Haylee will have her days when she does hide it but most of the time she wears it proud. The old they get the better they take it and know how to deal with it. Only the last few years and Haylee really become super open to it.

    I have found one thing that really helps when I see kids staring is to go up and ask them if they have any questions. And they love to touch it. At first Haylee was not sure about touching it but recently she has become all about it because she could out that they want to touch it so they are not scared of it. I am much like you and a protective Mama too...

    Hold on tight because it gets easier and easier.