She's. Just. Like. You.

I look across the gym. She's bouncing, bopping and running.

Just like all the other girls.

Some are younger, yet taller, than she, but not by far.

Some are older and more experienced at the gymnastics moves that she is trying to master. But she's working hard to be as good as those that she looks up to...

Just like all the other girls.

I watch as she stands in line, waiting her turn on the uneven bars for practice.

Just like all the other girls.

The girl in front of her is twirling and bouncing; just. like. her.

Until she turns around. Then the girl notice's it. To us, it's a badge of honor. She went through so much for it to be JUST a scar. It's barely there. But her teammate noticed it.

I kept a watchful mommy eye on the two. The girl looked and cocked her head a bit; leaned in a little closer. She turned around. Then looked back at the scar again. Then IT happened.

The part of Vivian's day that she talks about at night. The part that bothers her.

She asked: "what is that?"

I couldn't tell what Vivian said, and I did not ask later. She'll tell me if she needs to. I don't know if she told her it's a trach scar, or if she told her the latest suggestion that my mommy-mind gave her, simply that she had surgery there. But whatever she told her, her teammate turned her attention back to the bars and the girl there practicing.

I wanted to scream. "Why even ask? Why does it matter? It's a badge of honor - this little girl of mine went through so much to stand here and TALK!! Just leave it alone!!"  Everyone wants to know why she talks funny. Why she has the scars. Why she screams like that. Geeze - they told me for three years that she would NEVER talk. NEVER!! Her voice is beautiful, she loves her dolls, she rides a bike and practices her gymnastics even at home...

She's just a little girl. Just. Like. You!

© erikalandon 2010

1 comment:

Shasta said...

I love it, Erika. I can feel your frustration at your daughter being singled out like that. It's so frustrating how hard our kids have to work and even if they succeed at being completely functional, they still won't be "normal enough." So frustrating.
I was still hoping you could e-mail me so we could talk about Medicaid stuff? It's the envelope button on the righthand column on my website.