It’s hard to believe that we are beginning Labor Day weekend. It feels like I just cleaned up from the Fourth of July party. Oh wait, I did just finish cleaning up from that picnic. Oh well, I never claimed to be a good housekeeper!
With Labor Day approaching, all efforts in my house are pointed towards the same goal. I need to get my son (who is entering the second grade) and my husband (who is a teacher) ready for the new school year. It’s safe to say that neither are terribly excited about their vacations coming to a close, so out of respect I’m trying to keep my elation to a minimum.
This year my son will be attending a new school, which means that he is allowed to pack his lunch for the first time. It will be nice to pick him up knowing that he has eaten a good lunch. Last year I was able to predict the days he would not eat based upon the provided menu. Neither one of us enjoyed the “I’m starving” afternoons!
Wanting to make lunches so delicious that he would refuse trading with a classmate, I set out researching containers and lunch boxes. I came upon this fantastic lunch box kit from Rubbermaid. The containers are the perfect size for treats and goodies, and nothing crumbles or crushes because it is protected within the hard plastic. The containers click into an icepack so everything stays cold until it is time to eat.
Knowing my own limitations when it comes to cleaning, I decided to be proactive and bought two kits. I also ordered the salad kit for my husband, hoping to save him (and our bank account) from the daily visits to the salad bar. Of course, now that I have all of the containers I am going to have to figure out how to fill them. I wish that solution would be as easy to find!
With the lunch box conundrum solved, I have moved my focus towards the traditional “Yes, I’m an amputee” presentation I give to my son’s class. I have found it helpful to address the issue quickly, encouraging his classmates to ask their questions at one time. I don’t want his new friends to be fearful of my prosthesis, and I have learned that talking about it from the start helps to make everybody more comfortable.
Although talking about prosthetics and amputees is the norm in my house, it is completely unknown for many children. I begin the talk by keeping it as simple as possible. I try to strike the balance between providing enough information to quell their curiosity while not overloading them to the point where they become fearful.
I usually explain that I had an accident and the doctors tried to fix my leg. When they couldn’t fix it, they decided to give me a new one. Taking off my prosthesis and encouraging the students to hold it, try it on and ask questions at the beginning of the school year goes a long way towards demystifying the disability. By talking about the prosthesis and answering all questions at the beginning of the year, I quickly become just another Mom in their eyes.
I’m hopeful that exposing these children to limb loss at an early age will encourage them to grow into accepting adults. I have come to accept that I won’t change the world, but I haven’t abandoned trying to change my little corner of it. I wish everybody a happy, and safe, Labor Day weekend!
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