I’ve talked before about how all the tough conversations seem to come in the car. I can never figure out what’s up with that. Is it because the kids are not looking me in the eye? And it’s not one or the other that does this more often. It’s both the kids. I am Sidney’s girl scout leader (about to be inundated with many cookies, but that’s another post), and as we were driving over to the meeting, out of nowhere she said to me, “Mom I wish I could be like everybody else.” She has expressed on occasion that she would like to have five fingers to which we ask her if there is anything that she is unable with three fingers that we can do with five to which, of course, she answers no.
This time she was simply saying it’s frustrating sometimes to look different. I think going to school there have been children who are kindly curious. It’s the curiosity that means they don’t understand why. There might be a frightened look or a question. Typically these are the children that understand quickly this is the way God made her and move on. Then there are the gawkers, the repeat offenders who come back to us on a weekly basis in places like church and grab her hands. Mama bear takes care of those.
“Sidney God made you perfect. God made you, you. There is no one else like you. Is there anything you can’t do with your three fingers that I can do with five?” “No mom,” she answered in the familiar mantra that has become our conversation. Tom is ready to let her tell kids that a shark bit them off. Sorry maybe some people don’t find that funny, but we prefer to keep a sense of humor about all things in our house.
What she told me next shocked me. She started talking about the girls in her class. Her two closest friends have made no mention or worry about her differences. In fact at the moment she is caught in a friendship triangle. Sidney is not one of two vying for the other person’s attention. No, she is the one being fought over. Instead she said, “(Enter girls name) said she wishes she had three fingers. She thinks it’s cool.” That’s when was reassured once again everything will be okay.
Sometimes she is so mainstreamed with her differences that forget. I shouldn’t say, “Sometimes,” because it’s really all the time. She goes to school with her peers without an IEP. She has such an outgoing personality, that I’m not sure from the time another child meets her to the moment they realize there are differences that they have time to care. Her friendship and spirited nature take over before it matters. So we will take these conversations as they come.
I’m not quite sure where to stop writing, so this is it. I am off to start my day which includes cleaning and baking. I have to force myself to do the first part and give myself the reward of the second. The kids have an open house tomorrow, so stay tuned for more pictures.