Self Awareness

Shortly after Logan was born his pediatrician set up a consult appointment for us to take him to a hand specialist at the Shriner's hospital in Philadelphia. It was overwhelming, scary, and yet very reassuring all at the same time. Once the doctors assured us that he was great and would be very functional and didn't need any intervention other than some therapy here and there as he got older they talked about his emotional well being.

I will never forget that when the doctor's started talking about self-awareness. Essentially they told us that although no one really knew for sure when a child first realized that they were different physically they knew that it happened very early. At the time he left it at "it will be hard but you will all get through it".

Just within the last few weeks (since he turned two) both Bret and I have noticed very clearly that Logan is beginning to become aware that his hand is different. He has a book that is called Finger, Toes, and Noses. It is a flap book that has mittens when you lift them up you see fingers, boots/toes, ear muffs/ears, etc. He keeps picking up the mitten flaps and then showing you his right hand and then his left. He looks at you with a question wanting to know why. It is kind of weird but when I asked Bret about it he too said that he noticed the same thing. Logan will put his hand in yours and grab your fingers over and over again.

The other day at the park a little girl (I think she is 3) noticed Logan's hand for the first time. She said look at your hand it is kind of funny. Why is his hand different? She meant no harm just curious. Logan in the past paid no attention to this. This time, however, he stuck his hand in his pocket (sometimes it was just his pants) and refused to bring it back out despite the little girls best efforts.

As with all of my Logan moments it pinged my heart a little, made me realize how much sooner than I had hoped we would be dealing with this, and then I dusted myself off and went to his rescue. One of the little boys who plays with them came over before I got there and said.."that is just how God made him". With the question settled they all went off to play (Logan brought his hand out when necessary to climb the slide but then put it right back when he remembered).

I told Bret that I feel unprepared on how to handle all of this. He laughed a little chuckle and hugged me. He said when are we ever prepared for this whole parenting thing. He is right but it doesn't make it any easier. So for now at least we will continue to love him no different.

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