This week I had some shopping to do so I took the girls to three stores in one day. It was a bit hectic at times. I wonder what people must think when they see us. The first store we went to we only had a couple things to get so I had Amaya in the wheelchair, Lidie walking holding my hand and a reusable grocery bag hung on the back of the wheelchair for our groceries. Halfway through the store Lidie asked to sit on Amaya's lap. Amaya didn't want to share her chair with Lidie (its not very comfortable for her). This led to a mini-meltdown on Lidie's part. She doesn't understand why Amaya gets to sit and she has to walk. I had to carry Lidie, help push Amaya and then pay for groceries. Ugh. So as you can imagine shopping isn't always easy. But we still had two more stores we needed to do, so we pressed on. At the next two stores I decided to do our train (where I pull Lidie in a shopping cart and Amaya holds on with her wheelchair to the shopping cart and we pull her). This way is tricky as well, but I needed to keep both girls contained, entertained and busy. It's hard to navigate through small isles, but we did okay. We usually get lots of stares and smiles as I pull the girls along.
At our last store a man stopped me and asked if Amaya would be needing a wheelchair for awhile because he knew of a place to get them at a discounted rate. We ended up talking for several minutes about Amaya's PFFD, her surgeries, therapy etc. I showed him pictures of her fixator (most moms show off kid pictures, but I show off fixator and x-ray photos). When I told him about how hard she worked at therapy he said "I can tell. She's going to be just fine. She's got a sparkle in her eye." I was so happy and proud that he saw that in her. Several others have said the same thing to me. He said that when things happen in life you have to decide if you'll keep the sparkle in your eye or gain a chip on your shoulder. He said after his leg was amputated he had to look deep within and decide to not let himself get a chip on his shoulder. He said that when you get a chip on your shoulder you isolate people. He talked about that when you have a smile on your face you invite others to talk to you and to learn about disabilities. He said that often kids stare. He said, "I'm sure you know about the stares." We do. He said that when you smile and talk to them, then they won't be so scared later, or stare. It's like being an ambassador for disabilities. He made lots of sense. And I was so grateful that we met him.
We found out that he is a member of PossAbilities just like Amaya and he did the swimming class over the summer too. He said he got in the water for the first time since he had his leg amputated. It was such a nice encounter. We made a new friend in David and will be seeing him at the PossAbilities diner in two weeks. He was debating whether to go or not since he's single. But we invited him to sit with us, so we'll be seeing him them.
Lidie and Amaya in the parking lot. This is our grocery store "train" that we make.