One of the very first things you are going to think about when you learn your child will have a limb difference is what your child is not going to be able to do. That is understandable and human nature. It is also a waste of time and energy – and you should do your best to get rid of those thoughts immediately. Every single one of us is predisposed with things we can and cannot do. It’s just the cards we are dealt in life. What you need to do is focus on what your child can do.
Clay may not play varsity basketball. Well, guess what, neither did I. Basketball is my favorite sport and I played it through my sophomore year of high school, and yet it turned out that I wasn’t good enough to be a varsity level basketball player. Did my quality of life or overall happiness change because I didn’t play varsity basketball? Nope. (In fact, that was probably a valuable life lesson in humility to get a young age). After the initial disappointment, I just found other ways to play basketball and other things to do.
That’s what Clay, and your child, will do. It’s what we are going to figure out together as he grows up and becomes interested in things. If he wants go down a mountain on snow, we will figure out a way for that to happen. The simple fun of it is just that, sliding down a mountain. How you get down doesn’t really make a difference…….skis, snowboards, bikes, those sled things, whatever. If that’s what he wants to do there is a way to do it. And if he wants to swim, climb, mountain bike, run, play tennis, play baseball, play music, basketball, whatever……..same thing. You try things out and see what sticks. As a parent, it’s what you do with every kid, limb difference or not. Personally, every activity I’ve enjoyed, I’ve also observed people doing, and appearing to have just as much fun (and also doing it faster and better), without an arm or leg or some combination of all that.
So I’m 100% convinced that any activity Clay wants to give a shot – there is a way for him to do it. And I believe he can enjoy it just as much as someone without a limb difference.