A Brave Boy Did a Brave Thing
By Jacqueline Lisk
I interrupt our regularly scheduled content marketing, ghostwriting and thought leadership programming to share some feel-good personal news.
Last month, my son Colin, age 7, did something very brave: he spoke to a local reporter about what it is like to have a limb difference. He did it to raise awareness about Limb Difference Awareness month (April), and to remind people that differences are cool, and everyone has them.
Colin has ulnar longitudinal deficiency, so he has two fingers and a thumb on his left hand. Right before the reporter arrived, he nearly bailed. He didn’t feel like talking about himself. But he dug deep and did it anyway. He replied to every question thoughtfully and succinctly, unaware of the affect his words were having on all of us in the room.
He told the reporter, Sandra Fox, how he fields questions from well-meaning, curious kids, even when he doesn’t feel like talking about his hand. Sometimes the kids are not so well-meaning. When he is teased, he defends himself calmly. He never tattles. He rarely complains to me or my husband. He finds solace in his athletic abilities. He is a natural athlete with an unmatched work ethic. His success on soccer fields and ski slopes are a source of pride. He plays football, baseball, and basketball, too. Last winter, he wrestled, as well.
His likeminded buddies bolster his confidence. They call each other the Nacho Heads because they love the school lunch nachos. Like Colin, these boys are kind, empathetic, witty, fun, and obsessed with every sport. They stand up for Colin when bullying happens. Sandra wrote about these friendships in her article. Colin was so happy to share the stage with his friends. When his teacher asked if he would like to share his article with his first-grade classmates, he agreed but felt nervous upon standing at the front of the room. Two Nacho Heads got up and stood beside him, and the teacher said he visibly relaxed.
I am so proud of my son and his friends. I am so grateful to Sandra for writing about them. Colin looks at the world in a unique way that I am not yet able to define. I know his limb difference contributes to his perspective, his deep capacity for empathy, and his gentle spirit. Anyway, all of this is to say that he is a special kid with a special difference. Please check out the story if you can.