“That little girl with one hand can really play,” exclaimed a man sitting a few seats down from me during Jordan’s first game of the season.
I was beaming with pride.
Jordan is a basketballer. She really is. And I’m proud of how she played in her first game of the season. Jordan worked to get to this point.
Last year was her first season and she loved it so much, she attended Nubability Athletics‘ summer camp to work on her skills. Sure, she still needs to work on dribbling and looking forward at the same time. She should also keep practicing her shooting skills. But she has as much confidence on the court as all the other girls. It’s awesome.
Even better, when I shared pictures of Jordan playing on the Born Just Right Facebook page, two of her summer basketball coaches left comments and that got Jordan even more excited. She loves knowing they checked in on her progress.
We have a month and a half of games each weekend. I can’t wait to see her continued progress on the court. It’s amazing to see her skills (and her teammates) when you compare everyone from a year ago.
Jordan may be a really busy kid with all of her activities, but it’s such a huge confidence boost. Dance, running, basketball, softball… You name it, she’s probably tried it. I feel very fortunate we can give her all of these opportunities to push her limits and be active. Jordan really doesn’t see limitations. She just sees all kinds of ways to have fun.
It seems like it was forever ago… I was sitting in a gym with Jordan at Camp No Limits when she was three-years-old watching our friend Lizzie show off how she can put her hair into a pony tail with one hand and her little arm. I watched in awe, shot video and thought how this amazing task could not be accomplished by my daughter because her arm is so much shorter.
I was very wrong.
The one thing I have learned as the mom of a limb different kid is to shake off every assumption I made when she was a baby because she’s going to prove me wrong every time.
So fast forward to this past week when Jordan came downstairs to show off a new skill: Putting her hair into a pony tail. It’s something she has tried and tried but hasn’t had much luck. But while I was out of town on my running adventure, she mastered her skill. How? Those really stretchy cloth hair bands that have a knot at one end. It’s just enough stretch to make it work.
Jordan does it by pushing her hair back with the help of a headband, then pulls all her hair into the band. She stretches the band out with her little arm. Jordan can use her hand to wrap it around her hair a few more times. It ends up being tight enough to keep her hair up. She’s able to put her pony tail to the back or the side. Jordan’s favorite is the side pony. This is a really big deal for Jordan. When I grew up, doing my hair wasn’t a big deal, but for Jordan, this is epic. She loves doing my hair and anyone else who is willing to let her style a braid or a pony tail. But doing one for herself has been a challenge.
Next up? A braid. It’s something Jordan has been motivated to try ever since we saw Shriners Ambassador, Madelyn Hubbs, show how she braids her hair on YouTube:
Pretty cool, right?
Well, the braid inspiration just gets better. That’s because while Jordan was figuring out pony tails, I got to watch a very cool braiding lesson in person. In my last post, I mentioned how I got to meet Faith Dority, the runDisney Disney Parks Moms Panelist. She was born with one hand and has a younger friend who is also named Faith (whose mom has lovingly dubbed “Little Faith”) and she lives near Disneyland. Little Faith and her family have met with runDisney Faith every year since 2012. I was invited to hang out with them this time around… Which was awesome. Little Faith is an awesome surfer and you can sometimes check out some of her awesome activities on her Instagram page. Well, the Faiths worked on hair braiding while we ate ice cream and talked in Downtown Disneyland. It was so great. The only thing that would have been better was if Jordan was there to meet Little Faith and learn to braid her hair from Faith.
I’m excited for Jordan to figure out braiding and I know she has many mentors ready to step in and help if she needs it. And not long from now, Jordan will be able to show other kids how she does it. It’s the circle of our community. Each person may need to figure things out on his or her own, but there’s support online or in person when and if you really need it. Even better… If you think your child can’t, just assume he or she can. Just step back and watch. You’ll be amazed.