It's the little things
Kathryn returns with another post on her view as an adult with a limb difference. You can see previous posts here and here.
I knew months ago that I wanted to write about the "little things" that get to me but also make me proud to be an adult with a limb difference.
I smiled when I saw Jen had written a post with the same title a couple of years ago. I imagine many people think that having a limb difference is a HUGE thing because they cannot imagine their own lives without an arm or leg, but for me, it is no big deal. Instead, it's the little things that remind me I am unique.
There are inevitably things that bother me about having a limb difference. One of them is shaking hands. Since I was born without my right arm in a (very) right-handed world, I cannot shake someone's hand the "correct" way. As a lawyer, I am frequently in situations where hand shaking is important. Add a beverage or plate of food at a social function and you have a recipe for a potentially awkward moment. Why can't we address people like the French do? A nice peck on each cheek. Hands free salutations! Since we are not in France, I do the best I can and hope people don't think twice about the fact that I just shook their right hand with my left. Or, depending on the situation, I just tell the person up front that I have a prosthetic.
Another little thing I wish I could do is pick up my son, toss him in the air, and catch him with two hands. I know it doesn't make me less of a mom in any way that I can't, but when my husband does it, my son gets a look of sheer glee on his face while he giggles. Fortunately, there are dozens of other things I CAN do that also cause my son to giggle, and I wouldn't trade those moments for anything. I also wish I could hold him while I cook, because he loves to see what I am doing. He loves to watch the bubbles when the water boils, gets curious about what I am slicing or mixing, and generally just wants to see everything. I will often pick him up so he can see what's happening, but have to put him back down again to stir, chop, etc.
On the flip side, one of the little things that makes me proud of my limb difference is that I type really fast with one hand. Really wicked fast (ask anyone who has ever worked with me). I think it is one of my very few natural talents and I am grateful to God for such a blessing. I say it's a "natural" talent because when I took a typing class in elementary school, I learned to manipulate the keys "my way" with relative ease. I spend a solid 85 percent of my time typing for work, so it is a very handy gift (pun intended). Thank goodness for fast-typing fingers!
Another little thing is my ability to crack an egg with one hand (without getting shells in the bowl!). I love to bake when I can find the time, and baking requires many eggs. I frankly don't know why anyone would need two hands to break an egg, but I'm glad I can do it.
I'm curious to know what other people consider to be the "little things" about living with a limb difference?