5 months and counting


The baby came. It was a little chaotic, but he made it safe and sound.

Then the parents came (mine and husband’s.) More chaos, but also a lot of emotional holding/distraction that was very helpful.

Then we bought a house.

Then we sold a house. (2 days! Staging has been added to the list of my back up career choices.)

Its amazing how quickly our brain, once exposed to something different, normalizes it. Already I forget to mention Rayan’s limb difference to people and then am surprised when they are surprised. Most of our friends are quick to normalize things, with one notable exception, a playground mom, who I think was just dumbstruck and didn’t know what to do with her face.

My toddler, a very observant, precocious child, has never once acknowledged his limb difference. She’s accepted him the way he is, and while I know its probably just age/developmental stage related, it warms my heart. She knows to kiss his left arm when I ask her to kiss his “little hand”, so I know she knows. It just doesn’t matter. He’s her “baby brother”, her “whole thing face orca”, a brother to love and play with. She knows now to grab his hands when she leans in for a kiss because he will otherwise grab her hair.

And then there’s him. He is very different from her. Calmer. Always ready with a smile. Playful. Observant. Easy going. Refusing to roll over. (We’re working on it.) He likes to watch his (one) hand. I can’t help thinking that he is already hard-wiring his one-handedness, and wondering if having a prosthetic at an early age would change that wiring. We’ve made the medical rounds- Boston Children’s and Shriner’s and a few other places- most places now don’t recommend any prosthetic interventions at this early age.

We’ve taken him out and about. In public spaces most people just comment on how cute and chubby he is. Kids around 4-5 years of age are the most curious. One asked, “how will he grasp things without his hand?” I told her he would be just fine. She wanted to ask more (and I would have been fine having the discussion) but her mom shushed her. Another asked me, matter of fact, how his hand broke off. I thought that was funny. The young boy had a hard time grasping Rayan was just “born that way”. I was going to follow up with a dinosaur story (epic battle, boy slays dino, dino makes away with boy’s hand), but again, shushed by father. Oh, well.

I’ve met some wonderful limb different families. I’ve also taken to routinely reading stories about all kinds of special needs kids. They reinforce me in many ways. Knowing we are not alone. Knowing that we are blessed in a lot of ways. Knowing that his limb difference may either not define him at all or define him in a positive way. I still worry at times, but it’s a lot less, a lot different from what I had imagined.





About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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12 Responses to 5 months and counting

  1. zottavox says:

    He’s simply adorable, Purplesque!

  2. Limb difference will not define your child, with parents as caring and sensitive as you are. I work with a number of children with physical and intellectual disabilities, and I have to say the ones with intellectual disabilities have the greatest difficulties. The children born with limb difference adjust remarkably well and have no problem fitting into the classroom. Interestingly, their classmates also adjust quickly to having a friend who is “different” (but we all are!) and can be remarkably compassionate and kind, more so than many adults.

    More to the point—what a cute family! You are so lucky, purplesque. 🙂

    • purplesque07 says:

      HG, I am. Thank you as always for your loving, thoughtful comments. I’m sorry for not having kept up at all- how are you and the family?

      • We are all good and seem to be thriving, thanks for asking! My newest grandchild has a headful of curly black locks, possibly inherited from her grandfather’s Swedish side. It’s been interesting to watch how Indian, Japanese, and Swedish-Norwegian genes play out in the family. 🙂 Younger daughter is recovering from her knee surgery and Son appears to have finally found his path as a rock guitarist.

        As for me, I’m still wondering what to do when I grow up. Ten years away from retirement and I seem to be stuck in a job with so few rewards. I find myself asking the universe if I took a wrong turn or if it sent me to an incorrect address. 😀

  3. Scott says:

    Such gorgeous kids! And lucky to be part of such a loving family.

    Part of me misses that age; part of me is glad our kids are getting past the rockiest part of adolescence and settling into themselves.

    I don’t even want to think about moving house. 🙂

  4. Aussie Emjay says:

    That is an adorable photo! Both your children are gorgeous.

  5. et says:

    I used to read your blog way back and never took you off my feeds because you write so well. Your kids are so beautiful, and so lucky to have a mom like you. I had to stop by and take a minute to send my best wishes to you and your family.

  6. Lurkertype says:

    What a lovely photo!

    He’s got one good hand, an elbow*, and a wonderful family. He’ll be fine.

    *I am often amazed by what people can do with elbows. They hold things great!

  7. Knot Telling says:

    From Big Sister’s deep, loving gaze I’m positive that there will be no bullying if she’s nearby! Your children are just lovely… and loving. They have a permanent place in the heart of their honorary, long-distance, Auntie Claire.

  8. zottavox says:

    i mean Sumpsimus, sorry!

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