I took the boys to get haircuts the other day and while we were there I found myself educating a few of the stylist about achondroplasia. I don't always feel the need to explain that Reid has achondroplasia or what it is. However, sometimes I do. The stylist who cut Spencer's hair walked over to see Reid and asked how old he was...If you have a child with a form of skeletal dysplasia I'm sure you can close your eyes now and finish the story. :) When I told her he was 8 months old she then asked if he was crawling. I said, "No, not yet". Then, I began to explain that he would be a bit behind in his gross motor skills because he was born with achondroplasia. Of course, she had the look of "say what?...achondro what?" I explained achondroplasia is the most common form of dwarfism. Her questions began to follow just as if I was in a classroom teaching my kindergartners about the duck billed platypus....questions, questions, questions.
Question: "Is that something that you carry and passed down to him?"
Answer: "Nope, it's a random mutation that occurs at or before the time of conception."
Question: "So, it can happen to anyone?!"
(She looked a little shocked and scared at this point. Trying not to roll my eyes, I told her the chances were pretty rare.) I hate to say that I wanted to roll my eyes but I am human and these questions do come often and it seems they are always the same. I could have done without the next comment of, "Well he's still very cute." What?!!! Still?? If I cut her some slack I'm sure she didn't really mean "still cute". I said, "Yeah he's cute! The cutest!" By this time Reid and I seemed to have the attention of three or four stylist in the salon. I was educating people right then and there but not in my classroom, not with lesson plans and not with an agenda...with life. My life. Reid's life. I realized right then the importance of teaching people about achondroplasia. Before I had Reid I knew nothing about achondroplasia and that is what I have to realize. People that ask questions don't know and they want to know. When I have five year olds in my classroom eager to learn I'm jumping with excitement inside. Why should people we bump into be any different? If I tell them about achondroplasia and Reid flashes his gigantic smile a few times, they will listen, learn and become comfortable about something they knew nothing about. As Reid's mom that is my new goal. I'll be an educator for the rest of my life. I won't retire and tuck it away, it will always be something I do.
I'm spending most of my time right now educating this guy!
Just look at those sleepy eyes ready for his story and then bed.
What is Moma getting? A book?
Choices, choices! :)
Tonight my precious guy wanted to hold the book and turn the pages!
Tonight's story of choice is near and dear to our hearts! The author is my uncle and the illustrator is my aunt! I love this book! I have a copy at home in Reid's nursery and in my classroom for my kinder kiddos! :)