Well, on Monday the question was asked, the question that I had anticipated, but dreaded finally came and of course, came while we were in the car! The other question, you know the "did I grow in your tummy" question came in the car too. Come to think of it whenever Lizzie brings up the birth mommie subject, we are always in the car. I can remember as a child getting lost in thought (deep thought) on car trips too. Like mother like daughter I guess!! Glad to know that she didn't get just her hard head from me!!!
So earlier in the day on Monday, we went to Target to purchase a birthday gift for the girls' friend who was having a formal tea party birthday - will have to share about that later - too cute!!
While we were there and because I just cannot go to Target without buying something else other than what I was actually going there for, we decided that the girls needed some sandals (which they seriously do - really - I promise!!). Anyway, they had a great time trying on ALL the sandals they could reach and finally decided on some adorable sparkly flip flops (on sale, I might add). Lizzie chose some just like Em's but because her feet are so much smaller and because she has no toes on her non clubfoot except for one tiny toe (you know the one that went wee, wee, wee all the way home), her flip flops had the strap around the back of the heel. So, the part of the flop that goes in between your big toe and second toe ended up fitting in between the top of her foot and her one little toe. I could almost see the wheels turning in her beautiful mind but I decided to just let her be and let her try on whatever she wanted to and pick out (within reason) whatever she wanted. I will always remember a post I saw in one of my yahoo groups from a Mom whose daughter had no toes. Her wonderful post was about her amazing daughter's sheer determination to wear flip flops because she wanted to wear flip flops! Somehow, her daughter managed to keep those flops on - with no toes! What a lesson that post was to me and I know my Lizzie has that same determination, round here we call it hard headedness!!!
Anyway, once the girls had made their decision, we left (quickly before they changed their minds) and went home to get ready for the fab tea party. Later that day, as we were driving to the main event, I heard my sweet girl's voice from the back of the car.
Lizzie finally asked me why. "Mommie, why are my hands and feet different than Em's?" "Why do I have some toes (on her clubfoot) and not some toes?" "Why do I have some fingers and not some fingers?"
Sigh. Deep breath.
I mustered up every ounce of strength I had to not cry. Lizzie didn't need me to cry. She needed to know that it was ok, that she was ok, that her hands and her feet were ok. Lizzie needed to hear that from me, and she did. Not only did she hear it from me, however, but also from her apparently, "smarter than her Mommie" sister!!
Little did I know that Miss Em, would just instinctively know what to say. I had been researching this for years. Heck, I grew up with my amazing brother who has LD's but I still needed to hear from other parents of LD kids, needed to research any and every Internet site, needed to go over and over this conversation in my mind about a bazillion times and yes, bug my poor hubby about how I was so scared that I would mess it up!! I know he wishes sometimes that I came with "mute" button!!!
Emmeline in her fabulous 4 year old wisdom jumped right in on the conversation and didn't miss a beat - with no preparation!!!
The little stinker! I wonder if I can hire her to have all of the, ahem, "conversations" around here. You know like, how do babies get in your tummy? Oh wait, that would mean that I would have to have that conversation with Em first!! Never mind!!! hehe!!!
So as we drove down the road to the girls first ever fancy tea party, we talked. We talked about how Lizzie was just born that way and that she can do anything anybody else can do,
and that everybody is different and special. We talked about people's differences and how those differences make the world an interesting and beautiful place.
Em pointed out that Mommie is old and Emmeline is not!! Gee thanks Em!!! Heh!!
We also talked about words that Lizzie can use if someone asks her about her hands and that she can tell them that she doesn't want to answer the question if she doesn't feel like answering the question. We also talked about the fact that she can ask any of her siblings (she has quite a few) or mommie or daddy for help in answering those questions. We talked until Lizzie was ready to not talk anymore and it was fine. She was fine and yes, I survived.
We went on to the fancy tea party and I noticed that Lizzie was a little more clingy than usual and that's ok too.
I know that we will revisit this conversation many, many times and I also know that it will get harder as she gets older. I also know, however, my incredible daughter and I know that she is strong and courageous and determined (hard headed) and absolutely beautiful just the way she is and I am infinitely proud to be her Mommie!!!