Saturday, January 23, 2010

Leggies Here and Leggies There

I'm not really sure the last time I wrote about this but I often think about how Madeleine will always have to deal with the fact that she has a leggie. She will grow up with it and know that she is different. We have tried to water this down by contacting to others who have leggies so that she feels 'normal'. Right now a good majority of her friends have leggies.

She still reminds me, though, that she is different, sometimes. Tonight she said, "Mom, I wish I had two spread foots". ('Spread foot' is her word for her organic foot and my feet. Her manufactured foot is called a 'leggie foot'. FYI.) She went on to ask me if one day she could get a spread foot for her leggie. I replied with, "maybe one day", because honestly, I don't know. And, I wish this for her too.


Last week we went to Trader Joe's. Usually there is a man that stands outside and plays the violin. When the kids walk by we starts to play "twinkle twinkle" or some other kid-tune. Last week he wasn't there and standing in his place was a young guy with a leggie. He was probably about 25 and held a sign saying, "Disabled. Can't Work. Need Help." Honestly, when I saw him I scoffed. I thought, "of course this dude can work, whatever".

When we left Traders I showed his leggie to Madeleine and she moved closer to get a better look. I walked up to him and told him that my daughter wanted to show him her leg. He leaned down and gasped at seeing her prosthesis. He started to cry. He told her she was beautiful and he was proud of how well she walked. He asked me how long she had it and told me he couldn't believe how well she got around. He told me he lost his leg four months ago and was relearning how to walk. He said his disability hadn't come in yet and he was a bar tender. He was crying and apologized for it. I told him to keep his head up and that things could be worse. We gave him some money and went home and I cried. I'm proud of Madeleine and my heart breaks for this guy. He sounded so hopeless.

I'm proud of Madeleine. She will have struggles throughout her life but Michael and I have laid the foundation and I believe she will be okay.


Maggie said...

And now you've got me crying. Thanks so much for the touching tale. You definitely do have an amazing little girl. And an amazing boy, too, of course. Just for different reasons.

Kathryn said...

Niki, thats so sad about the guy at TJ's. It sounds like he doesnt have much support around his leggie. However, Madeleine has the most amazing parents who will always make her feel able and strong. She has such a strong female figure to look up to and I think she is extremely lucky in so many ways. Even if she didnt have a leggie, she would lead an unfortunate life without such loving parents. Seriously. You and Michael provide the most important piece of parenting which is love. I wish I could give you and her leggie a hug.

Kate said...

Thanks so much for sharing this!! We try to do the same thing with our Chloe! We keep encouraging her that she is MORE than her leg...she is NOT her leg but that it is a special part of her!

Julie said...

This post brought tears to my eyes! You and Meyers are great parents and you do an amazing job of cultivating Madeleine's confidence to feel comfortable just as she is. Reese always remembers Madeleien and likes every part of her, leggie and all. Madeleine is a link between people with differences and those who do not understand. That's why she is here. She's a miracle.

Jolie Van Iderstine said...

i, for one, KNOW, she is and will always be just fine. she has sooo much support and love around her. and judging by the countless heartfelt comments you have on facebook, it looks like her momma does too!! :-)