I often think back to when Jordan was a newborn. My head would fill with all of my worries. You know, the regular worries you have for your baby but also the new worries about how a limb difference might affect her life. I often would think back to playing on the playground in elementary school. I was one of those girls who would run around with her friends and do all kinds of silly hand clapping chants. It immediately struck me that Jordan may not feel included on the playground. It worried me for a long time before she started going to preschool and making friends.
Flash to this afternoon. I have been out of town a lot in the last two weeks and focused on some pretty time consuming projects. I have not had the time to visit Jordan at lunch time yet this school year. So I grabbed her favorite mac and cheese at Panera and surprised her at school. She loves that mac and cheese and she loves being able to show off her mom. She also loves to convince me to play on the playground with her and her friends. Play time at school has not turned into a concern for Jordan. She had a challenge with one boy two years ago… But Jordan has shown me time and time again that little things do not bother her. Only big and super annoying problems.
On the playground, Jordan shows me how she can climb some really fun spots. We pretended to do monkey bars where I carried her across as she grabbed bar after bar all the way across. Funny thing… Lots of girls lined up and asked me to help them even though they have two hands. They all wanted Jordan’s mom to do the same thing – carry them across the monkey bars.
At some point, Jordan and a friend decided to start playing London Bridges. It’s where you hold your arms up like a bridge and sing London Bridges Falling Down. Friends walk under the arms and when the song ends, the arm bridge falls and you capture whoever is under the bridge. That person joins the “bridge” and the singing commences again. The “bridge” gets bigger and bigger as a different person gets caught each time. The song got louder and louder and the bridge got bigger and bigger as more kids joined in. What was really interesting was how Jordan kept joining the circle. When she got caught, most of the time the person holding onto her little arm was a friend. They would just hold on and play along without any trouble. But at some point, a boy who I have never met before ended up next to Jordan. He wasn’t comfortable holding onto the bottom of her arm. So Jordan mentioned to him how he could hold onto her shoulder. At some point, he even moved his hand up to the top of her head. She kept participating and giggling and having fun. I was incredibly proud. I was so nervous when she was a baby. She is proving she not only joins in on the fun, she’s encouraging others to keep her involved.