Hubby, Sweetie and I had a very busy weekend. But one of the things we did was attend a picnic. So we did find some time to relax and have some fun amidst all our running around.
The picnic was held on a beautiful day at an idyllic park in Cambridge, MA. The MA Spina Bifida Association was hosting it and, since I am a relatively new member of the Association and have just begun to do some editing work for them, I thought this would be a wonderful event to attend and make some new friends.
I have to admit, however, that I was a bit concerned how Sweetie would react. I knew we'd be meeting lots of new people, which is daunting for her anyway. Add in the fact that the majority of them would either be in wheelchairs, using crutches or walkers, and/or wearing some degree of leg/body bracing, perhaps walking with exaggerated limps, and I just didn't know what she'd think.
Well, we got there and she really couldn't have cared any less. For one thing, she was much too interested in the awesome playground to be concerned about anyone else there. So that, I'm sure, was a big help. But then when she stopped, ate some lunch, and headed off to the water-fountain play area for some cooling off - all while interacting with the other picnic-goers both able bodied and not - she was just so relaxed about it all! Like, Who cares?! No big deal!
At one point I introduced Sweetie to a little girl I met who was wearing some pretty funky hot pink/multi-colored leg braces. I tried to ask Sweetie if she liked those braces, and I think she did admire how they were pink while Mommy's were white. But she basically didn't care or comment.
Similarly, while at the water spouts, a leery Sweetie was working up the courage to go into the water when another little girl, using a walker, headed straight for the raining fountains. Sweetie commented to Hubby and I that,
I need a pool walker too.
But that was it. She didn't question why the girl was using it, or why any other person there was using the equipment they personally needed. To Sweetie, they were just people, just potential playmates, just a nice group of friends to play and relax with.
In retrospect, I really shouldn't have worried at all. Sweetie has never questioned me about my braces or how I walk. Oh, I've told her about them and she's commented that, We should go to the store and get me some braces too. But she's never wondered why I wear them or questioned why nobody else she knows does.
Perhaps it's her age. She's still young enough to be learning so much about the world around her. To her, everything is new and everything just "is". Despite the typical why's and what's toddlers inundate us with, I supposed the majority of them just take most things at face value and don't wonder why things are like they are.
(But, then again, while dropping Sweetie off at school a few weeks ago, one of her little classmates did stop and ask me what those "things" on my legs were and why I wore them. To her, I was different. And she needed my help to figure me out).
But mostly I think it's just that I am Sweetie's reality. She's around me every single day and I'm her Mommy - no matter what I wear or how I walk. I know I've said it here before, but it continues to amaze me - she just doesn't care about all my extra "stuff".
I'm glad we went to the picnic and had such a fun time. I realized quickly that I could sit back and relax, knowing that Sweetie was relaxed enough with the environment to have a great time as well.