Every semester I visit classes to talk about what I do, explain how they can be better journalists or advise students how they can do well in the newsroom where I work. A lot of these journalism students have a chance to sit in the newsroom and shadow different positions… And lately I’ve seen myself hanging out near these students and realize they don’t know a ton about me. They don’t have to. But every once and a while I go on and on talking about Jordan and Cameron when I realize they have no idea what I’m talking about. So when I start talking about therapy, they think I mean I’m going to a psychologist-type therapist. When I’m really talking about Jordan’s physical or occupational therapist. Then when I start talking about arms and prosthetics, I just get funny looks.
A couple of days I pulled out a picture from my camera and was showing it off to someone and I offhanded said: “Here’s a picture of the cutest one-armed baby in the world!” And this girl spun around and looked at me in horror. I just looked at her and said: “No really. She really is cute.” Then I showed her the picture of Jordan.
I don’t feel like I need to run around and tell people my entire life story, but my work life and home life mesh. Probably since Randy and I work together. But I talk about work and home all the time and I’m not in the mood to explain myself all the time… But I also don’t want my world to be secret. I hope other parents with limb different kids can know that when they read Jordan’s blog, that they aren’t alone. I hope my students can learn that a child who is “different” isn’t really that different… But there are challenges that they would have never known if I wasn’t so open about it. I also think keeping a sense of humor about a missing limb keeps the “uncomfort zone” less uncomfortable.
I’m not exactly sure what I’m babbling about… Except that I hope I can be a public voice of a birth defect I really never knew existed. I was dancing around with Jordan this morning thinking how awesome she is. I wouldn’t change a thing. But no one writes how-to guides about how to raise my kids… And they certainly don’t tell you how to raise a self-confident, awesome, caring, limb different kid. And the only thing I can do is make sure as many people in Jordan’s world know about it and are as comfortable about it as I am.