Sunday, October 26, 2014

There's no shame in having spina bifida

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.

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This is Anna.  What we all see is a funny, smart, adorable, little girl.

13 comments:

BreezieGirl said...

You have made me much more aware of spina bifida in the time that I've read your blog. Anna is remarkable... with remarkable parents, sisters, and family that love her. I hope one day she feels comfortable telling her friends so they can support her too.

Jordan said...

All I see is an adorable little girl as well! I've been reading your blog for a while now so I know that Anna has spin bifida but I would never have guessed it from all of your pictures. She looks just like her sisters!

Kim said...

Your heart must have broken for her. Mine did, and she's not my child. ((((Anna))))

Anonymous said...

After hearing the story and being Anna's Grammy...my heart just ached for her. I wish I could make her world perfect. I hope Anna always has close friends at school that will understand why she may be different but that she is just like them in every-other-way...a special sweet friend.
Love, Grammy <3

Farah said...

All I see is an adorable little girl too. She is an inspiration. Good for Allie for handling that situation well. How mature of her.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you as her mom communicate to Anna that it is ok to "make friends" with her condition. She is an awesome little girl no matter what!
Hugs,
Holly

Katie said...

It's awesome that Anna has awesome sisters who have her back- it was really cool that Allie realized what was going on and jumped in and distract everyone.

Just the Tip said...

My heart just broke a little. Peyton is having a hard time too. She said to me the other day that she feels like she doesn't belong anywhere. She's 5. Seriously. It's so hard on them in ways we don't even get I think.
Hugs.

JohannaAnn said...

Anna is lucky to have parents who advocate so much for her. My mother has spent the better part of her life working in access and disability in an effort to make the world better for people of all abilities. The one thing she's learned over the years is that those with different capabilities need people to advocate for them, fight for them, and stand up for them. Anna is a great kid because she found two of the best parents. She's going to go so far in her life.

Anonymous said...

What a precious little girl you have, a gift! She is lucky to have you as a mom- to care for her and stand up for her- and those two sisters looking out for her- go Allie!!

Wendy said...

Good for Allie for sticking up for Anna <3 I'm such a jerk, I probably would have asked why she was looking at Anna's underpants :parentfail:.

Sarah said...

My heart did break but I needed to act like it was no big deal.

Awww, that makes me so sad to read that Peyton said that. :( It is super hard on them. Hugs to you and Peyton.

Leslie said...

Tell Anna that she is an amazing girl! Kids will just blurt things without thinking about the consequences, but those words can hurt. I think Anna has so much to be proud of!