As if I could think this was over....
As if everything would go away and children would accept each others as individuals...
Ah, where do I start?
OH yeah, it started to get warm in Seattle (I know, rare!) and Mad started wearing shorts. (Those kindergartners don't notice anything unless it is right in front of them!!!!) Kids started to notice. They started asking questions again. again. This time it was different though. Mom wasn't there to jump in and explain. Mom wasn't at the park saying, "no, keep your leggie on". Madeleine was exercising freedom and showing kids her leg. Saying it 'accentally fell off' and then showing kids. Seriously!?
Let me back up. Pool party, 2012. All kids from her class.
Me: are you sure you want to swim with your leggie off? Kids in your class haven't seen it and they might be surprised.
Mad: Yes, I can handle it, mom. No biggie, I'm comfortable explaining it.
Me:..... sigh...... hesitation
Next stop... kids telling Madeleine her leg was:
Siblings crying because it was so "freaky".
"You can't play with us because you only have one foot"
When will I learn?
We are use to this and they are not.
Remember when I first found out? I was scared, nervous, freaked out.
"My daughter has what?!"
"What does that mean?"
"What's going to happened?!"
Yep, I remember February 2006. I remember finding out there was something different going on. I remember the doctors telling me to make that decision to terminate in a few weeks if I was going to.
I remember curling up in a fetal position on the sofa and not doing anything. I remember my OBGYN telling me to EAT more or she is going to seek a nutritionist.
I remember the acceptance. Michael saying, "I want both. We can do this."
I remember my daughter's beautiful life when she was born. I remember her wonderful hair/fuzz. I remember her silly leg.
I remember it all.
And now I look at my girl. My powerful, beautiful girl who shouldn't have to deal with questions, cries, and stares. She shouldn't be made fun of. She should be able to play, to swim, to run and not have kids stop and stare.
Madeleine, living in Seattle, wears pants most of the time. Now, she is uncovered. Kids talk.
Honestly, it got pretty bad.
I am seeking counseling. Madeleine is confused by the comments and questions. Her leggie "talking" for her now. Her name is Sweaty and she says: "It's okay to ask questions. It is okay to stare. But don't laugh, don't make fun of me and don't run away."
My daughter didn't ask for this. Nor did I.
And then something happened:
K.B.T: Have you ever heard of Camp No Limits?
Me: Um, I think so...
K.B.T: you should talk to my friend, she says it will change your life. There are other kids there with limb differences. It should be called, camp confidence.
Multiple conversations later and I realize this is an essential last step. Camp No Limits tells me it always happens in kindergarten.
I'm fundraising because the camp $ are just over my reach as we would have to take time off.
I think this is essential so we will find a way.
As this is my blog I can tell you that it feels funny raising money for myself. I have rasied money before. Actually a shit load.
I have never raised money for my own cause. This is what I can say...
there are expenses of having a child with a limb loss that you cannot imagine (her leggie costs over $15000). Athletic, high performance, feet cost a lot. Therapy is expensive. Sports are expensive. Private swim lessons are expensive.
On June 27, 2012 it will be 5 years since Madeleine's amputation. I will never forget. I'm planning an activity for that day... stay tuned!