When I first found out about Louisa’s limb difference I envisioned myself blogging about it and her journey often. I even thought I might start up a new blog, one just for her, and fill it full of all the things she can do despite! being! different! and be so positive about everything all! of! the! time! But firstly, I’m not positive all of the time. It’s just not in my nature. And secondly, I just found myself not mentioning it and when I stop and wonder why I think maybe it’s because it might be TOO personal. Like, blogging about my lady parts or my husband’s nuts is totally fine but… I don’t know. Is it really my story to tell? My journey to talk about? I think maybe it’s kind of hers.
So, yeah. That makes me a terrible mommyblogger but it is what it is.
And then there’s now. Today. I feel like talking about it.
Remember the Random Christian Woman at The Park? Well, here we go with that story. Firstly, if when I mentioned her last time it maybe sounded like I was an anti-Christian asshole, I’m not. I’m not anti- much of anything really. Except I am sort of anti-“here, let me put my religion CLOSE TO YOUR FACE” and not give a shit if maybe you don’t feel the same way about it.
So since we had a four-day weekend for Memorial Day (thanks to the vasectomy) we thought it would be fun on one of those mornings to take Louisa to a nearby park that has a splash pad. Last year she was pretty much terrified of all things water related but this year she loves it. Like, LOOOOOOVES it. She screams bloody murder when we’re done with the paddling pool, and when we take her to the actual swimming pool she throws herself in before we’re even ready – it’s a little terrifying actually (note to self: Louisa needs swimming lessons pronto). So, splash pad – that’ll be fun. We went early in the morning (because the temperature is already shooting into the 100s here in Las Vegas (eesh. just EESH. I’m sick of summer already. luckily it only lasts like, 8 more months!)) and there was nobody else there. Fantabulous! Jason took her in while I stayed behind at the car to change Simon’s poopy mess. How do they only do the poops that explode out the sides of the diaper when you’re out in public, by the way? For the love. Anyhoo – by the time I caught up with them there was this couple there with their three dogs. In the splash pads. Okay, yeah. It’s hot. Take your dogs to the splash pads. I get it. But could you at least keep them on a leash? I have a not-quite-two-year-old who doesn’t understand that not all animals are as tolerant as our kitties. So I’m standing on the sidelines nudging the stroller back and forth to get Simon sleeping while simultaneously keeping a hawk-eye on my little girl because even though Jason is over there watching her I’m still nervous. Because I’m a mom. And I worry too much.
Nothing ever happened with the dogs, just to put you at ease (in case you were expecting this to be some sort of dog bite scenario), other than her touching one and him licking her because “they’re harmless, I swear! they never bite”. GETALEASH, lady.
So then I guess the dogs were tired of the splash pads so the woman decides to come and chat with me. And by chat with me I mean chat AT me. Because she never stopped talking long enough for anyone to talk, really. And because lady, I ain’t listening to you, I’m trying to keep an eye on my runfastrunrunrunning-in-water daughter because my husband had holes poked in his junk yesterday and might not be able to catch up with her if she gets away and I’ve got this other tiny totlet in here that I am worried is going to overheat because CALM DOWN ALREADY WITH THE HEAT, LAS VEGAS! She started giving me parenting advice. Because she used to be a nanny. Had I not been preoccupied I would have been like “oh, a nanny, um hum, yeah I’M A FUCKING MOM, LADY, I’ve done this before – see that little girl over there? MINE.” Instead I just nodded politely.
By then a few other folks had shown up to play in the water. Some little girls were running around in circles around Louisa and one of them asked “what happened to her hand? what’s wrong with her hand?” – ain’t no thing. For real. We get that a lot from kids when we go to the park or other public places. Adults don’t usually say anything because, duh. Would you? But kids are naturally curious and it’s not like they’re being jerks, they just see something different and want to know why. So Jason did what we always do which is to say “we don’t really know, she was just born that way”, and continued chasing her around.
And then… dog lady goes “awwww”. And I start to get annoyed (okay more annoyed than I already was) because I know what’s coming. But really I didn’t. Most adults shyly ask what happened and then leave it at that. She started quizzing me about what happened and how we handle it and when we found out and what are we doing about it and because I was annoyed and unprepared I sort of started oversharing and told her about how we were once referred to a pediatric hand surgeon because “they might just want to remove those little nubbins” (I just realized you probably have maybe never seen what her little nubbins look like and because I’m too lazy to scroll through all of my pictures to see if there’s one that shows them well enough, I will instead direct you to this website. That first picture there by the “what is symbrachydactyly” is almost exactly what Lou’s hand looks like). Before I could tell her how we felt about that (which is NO, just no. I am not removing body parts from my child without her permission. That is her decision and when she is old enough and if she wants to then great, super, we’ll go through with it. Until then, I sort of feel like that would be akin to giving her a tattoo or even piercing her ears while she she was tiny which I also don’t think is a cool thing to do but whatevs, I don’t want to fight you about it if you did it to your kid) she said “Oh no. It was God’s will that she’s that way. If she wasn’t meant to have them God wouldn’t have put them there”.
Let me tell you how I feel about God’s will (and here’s where some of you will probably get all offended and uppity and maybe stop reading, but that’s okay too. Totally your choice). Not a whole lot, actually. Because see, I don’t really even believe in God so much (GASP! OMG! SHE’S A GODLESS LIBERAL! – yeah, kind of). I know other people do, including most of my family and I’m totally okay with that. Most of them are Mormons, a group that is notoriously made fun of and/or misunderstood and you know what? I will defend them ferociously when provoked (I know because it has happened to me before) because they’re my people (it’s kind of how like you can make fun of your little brother but if someone else does you’ll punch ’em out), but I’m just not… into it, I guess. I’m not really an Atheist because they are INTO IT, know what I’m saying? They will fight you! And I’m just… meh. Milquetoast. Lazy. Religion is not a part of my life and I’m really okay with that.
But when someone says something as stupid as IT’S GOD’S WILL that your baby is missing a hand and will have difficulties probably all of her life but especially when she’s a school-aged kid because kids are sometimes mean and might make fun of her and your poor Mama heart breaks almost every time you think about things like that… I… sort of want to kick them in the shin. Because, that means God is kind of a dick, you know? Like he just randomly picks people to hand out problems to like “okayyyyy, yeahhhh, Carter kid gets symbrachydactyly… this kid gets Autism… that lady has a miscarriage at 22 weeks…this guy’s getting cancer for Christmas” – I especially don’t believe in a God like that. What I do believe is that random things happen. Random shitty things, a lot of the time. They’re just a part of life. And that’s okay too.
So yeah. I don’t really know how to end this because before I really had a chance to respond Louisa ran over from the splash pad (while Random Christian Woman kept yelling “no running! no running!” because she has seen kids slip and fall and require stitches and SHE USED TO BE A NANNY so is CLEARLY A PARENTING EXPERT) and stole the dogs’ tennis ball. Then she ran back into the splash pad where another little girl stole it from her and, sensing a tantrum, Jason and I both swooped in and redirected her from the water over to the slides.
And we never retrieved the ball.
Take THAT, annoying stranger!
Sorry if I offended you. Jesus is just alright with me, I promise.