Okay, so under normal circumstances I spend days writing and editing blog post drafts until they’re as perfect as possible, even passing them through the husband filter to make sure my tone is on point. Not this time.
No, this time I am writing with only minutes remaining until the pizza delivery man rings our front doorbell. There’s so much I want to tell you, but not enough time to do any developmental milestone of Hope’s any justice, so let me briefly walk you through an awareness month that, like my free time, is about to expire: Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness Month.
I never really knew where we would fit into this awareness month until January 2020 when Henry, Hope’s baby brother, was denied entrance to an age-appropriate preschool because of his upper limb difference. He was recently through surgery on his “good hand” and about to complete his 12-week postsurgical protocol, taking the world by storm for how quickly he was adapting to his repaired hand. This little man of mine was able to conquer anything, although this school didn’t seem to think so.
The school was concerned over “classroom safety,” which I came to learn was a parent-friendly way to deny students who they didn’t believe would advance their public image. For example, they were concerned that he skipped the crawling milestone and thought that he wouldn’t be able to handle another child knocking into him. When all of this was shared with me, I shared back that this was the first time we experienced discrimination and that the school would do well to never contact me again. I knew they were not in compliance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), but I had no desire to send him off to this type of environment and eventually found a caring, beautiful preschool in town that has nurtured his spirit and trusted his body to do all that he asks it to do.
That same month I submitted a proclamation request to Governor Murphy’s office in acknowledgment of Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness Month. Although we got our executive proclamation, in April 2020 the pandemic was in full swing and the governor was having surgery for kidney cancer. Nothing felt right about celebrating this social victory, and so we kept our heads down and worked through remote school like everyone else.
Our celebration this year is the start of Henry’s first rec sports activity: kickball! His friends from school signed up so I figured we’d take the plunge. Our first game was cancelled for rain, but he loves wearing the uniform, so that’s enough for me!
Happy Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness Month from our family to yours. 🙂