Saturday, March 27, 2010

...he had no legs

So at our appointment Thurs.-the one where we waited for 4 hrs...the room became filled with people from all sorts of backgrounds. Some needed interpreters, one teen was smooching all over her boyfriend while mom sat there talking with the social worker, explaining that the two love birds lived down the road from her...most of these kids all had cleft palates. One such child walked in w/his foster dad and leaned against the wall. The kids at the table who were working on their projects w/a volunteer art teacher, turned as the teacher called this young man by name and asked if he wanted to draw. He respectfully declined and assured her he might later, right now he was exhausted and needed to rest. This art teacher obviously had met him before since she frequents this clinic. The boy was almost 13 he made quite clear as he leaned his muscular back against the wall next to his Dad.

The room was filled with common everyday chit chat as people patiently waited to hear their child's name called by a nurse. The almost 13 year old surveyed the room w/his eyes as adults carried on about their business, hoping their children didn't say anything inappropriate out loud where this boy could hear. No child did. Children colored and the almost 13 year old rested for almost an hour. As he gained confidence in his surroundings, he decided to join Gage and the others at the table. No one made a big deal that he stood about two and a half feet high. You could hear his heavy steps as his prosthetic tips (not sure of a proper name) that attached to his pelvis to elevate him a few inches, clomped his torso to an empty chair. He pulled his body up into a chair w/huge muscular arms for such a young person. The art teacher asked if he needed any help, careful not to jump in and assist w/out need. He declined and all the children colored. I watched the kids, making sure Gage was being respectful to this teacher (he was) and being nice to all these kids who had thick scars on their upper lips and troubled speech (he was). I watched Gage ask the other children to borrow markers before taking them...and they colored. After a while we hear, "Gage Blakely".

We sat back in the room with disappointed hopes the doc would come soon so we can get back home. I tried to entertain Gage as best I could w/nothing more that the room offered. We talked about various subjects for quite some time before he said, "Mama." I knew in his voice he had something on his mind, something serious, and I had a feeling what it was about. "Hmm?" I said. He begins by saying, "I'm not at all making fun, or saying anything bad okay." I'm now certain what he's gonna ask but I wait and see where this leads. "Okay, what is it kiddo?"  With a brain full of interest and eyes of concern he says, "You know that boy out there?" and I ask which one just to see what he says because there were several out there. He says, "You know the one at the table." I nod w/uncertainty since there was actually 3 boys total at the table, one on each side of Gage. He lowers is voice with even more concern and says, "Well, you know, um, well, what was wrong with his finger?"

Apparently this young man may have had some sort of syndrome or something that according to Gage made his middle finger a little longer than the average person. So the fact he had no legs, missing some fingers, and very troubled speech that accompanied his cleft palate, played no part in what Gage noticed about this child, it was the least obvious of his anomalies...a slightly longer middle finger. Gage had not noticed any of those things...he only saw the middle finger because he had trouble picking up the markers and Gage only noticed what he did have, not what he was missing. I was very proud of my little guy.

1 comment:

leah said...

Bless him- you have a real jewel there, Val. Gage is one heck of a kid- we can all only hope our kids will be like him when they get older!