“Excuse me, but your daughter’s foot fell off,” the Sunday school teacher leaned over the row of seats and whispered in my husband’s ear.
Sometimes having a child with special needs makes you cry. But sometimes you better be able to laugh, too!
My daughter is 12 years old, blonde (the kind of blonde some women pay a lot of money for), bubbly, and athletic. She loves to read, swim, and cook. She plays baseball, football, and basketball. She dislikes doing homework and folding her laundry before stuffing it in the drawers. She argues with her brothers and giggles with her dad. Pretty normal.
But she is noticeably different from other children. God chose to form her in her birth mother’s womb with one-half leg instead of two. There is no getting around the fact that she is physically different. She uses prosthetic legs quite efficiently and is a force to be reckoned with, whatever she does. And when she does use a wheelchair, it’s best to get out of the way.
Of course, it is a serious thing. We’ve been through sadness, surgeries, physical therapy, and more prosthetic appointments than I care to count. I feel for families who are in the thick of a new diagnosis and tears for the future. But our family has now lived with this serious thing for a long time. Dare I say it’s normal? Normal for us, anyway, and believe it or not, it even has a lighter side.
We tell her she’s lucky she will never have athlete’s foot. And when her legs get tired, she can just take them off at the end of the day. She laughs when remembering how she was swinging at the park one day, and one of her legs went flying. Or the time she accidentally hooked her foot under a bleacher seat, pulling her leg off and dropping it to the grass below.
We are thankful that her condition is a result of congenital differences instead of a tragic loss. We pray that God will use her – somehow – to inspire people. And He does. We have seen the amazement of adults and the acceptance of peers. We have seen a lot of people educated about prosthetics and the abilities of amputees.
So when my daughter’s foot falls off in Sunday school, we laugh. And then we go put it back on.
(My bubbly, blonde daughter approves this post.)