The girls hosted their second annual Halloween party today. Interestingly, they didn't ask to go out and purchase costumes this year. Allie wore her Elsa dress from Disney but plans to be a gymnast for trick or treating on Halloween. Emily was a '50s girl complete with a high ponytail and a poodle skirt Grammy made for her older cousin a few years ago. Anna recycled a costume from a few years ago and was Dorothy.
So all the guests arrived and Anna in typical Anna fashion was just wearing the Dorothy dress. After the craft portion of the party, the girls somehow decided to have a talent show while we waited for Rich to return with the pizza. Almost all of the girls take gymnastics and that was a common theme of the talent show. Anna opted to show off her bridge and as she was doing so, someone called out, "Hey, she's wearing a diaper!"
Here's the thing with a group of 7 year old girls - they're silly. They want to be funny. They giggle and try to make everyone laugh.
I was standing right there and as Anna collapsed on the floor from her bridge, I said, "No, that's just part of the costume." I was super proud of Allie because she quickly added, "Yeah, that's just the bottom part of the dress," and started dancing around, drawing attention away from the situation. Meanwhile, Anna ran to me crying. I pulled her into the kitchen to calm her down away from everyone. I didn't want it to a be a big deal and brought her upstairs, suggesting she find a pair of shorts to wear under the dress.
I've told Anna that it's okay if others know that she has spina bifida. She doesn't see it that way. She doesn't say why but I suspect she wants to be seen as "normal" or she fears being made fun of.
October is spina bifida awareness month. The other night, I attempted to write a post but was having difficulty in doing so because those of you who read here regularly know that Anna has spina bifida and what I was writing, you already know. Anna is a typical second grader who takes gymnastics and ballet. She enjoys playing school with her sisters and their stuffed animals and dolls. She's quiet but easily makes friends. She's a sweetie. She has spina bifida. And that's okay.
This is Anna. What we all see is a funny, smart, adorable, little girl.