Sunday, August 19, 2007

Is anyone perfect???

Yesterday I got a glimpse into what a special little girl in my life will encounter for the rest of her life. Calla is 3 years old, she is my daughter in laws niece and my segregate granddaughter. To say that Calla is a beautiful little princess comes close to describing how this little girl can reach out and melt the hardest of hearts. Calla is the kind of little girl that everyone utters in passing “did you see that child she is adorable”. Calla calls me Ya Ya just as Hunter does. Having the two of them together is a double handful, and Calla’s hand is what she has to deal with daily.
Calla was born with a hand that did not fully develop. I cannot remember the name of the condition but it has to do with a part of the uterus detaching and wrapping around an area of the fetus not allowing blood flow thus the deformity. How it happened is not important, the fact that Calla was born “less than perfect” in the eyes of John Q Public is. For the people that are around her it is something that we do not notice until someone brings it to our attention. Trust me it in no ways slows Calla down.
Yesterday we had a “congratulation/farewell party” for our son Billy who will be leaving for the FBI Academy in a couple of weeks (this is a story for another time). The family was there and several of Billy’s friends and ex co-workers. One of Billy’s friends has a little girl that is 4. I have no idea how long we had all been in the pool playing – which involves the kids jumping in and me catching them – when the little girl noticed Calla’s hand. And in true little one’s style she began to ask questions about Calla’s little hand. “Why is her hand that way?” “Her hand looks like it has tiny little toes on it”. The family is teaching Calla to answer “Because God made me that way”. So, I told the little girl that it was that way because God made it like that and Calla is very special”. Enough said, not for this child. She continued to want to look at Calla’s hand, she wanted to touch it and she wanted to hold it. Of course my first instinct was to smack the kid in the mouth and tell her to go away. BUT she was after all making the innocent inquiries of a child. So, I was left to walk a tedious line between what my heart wanted to do and what I needed to do for both Calla and the little girl. I started a new game in the pool which bought us all some time, but given the opportunity the little girl would gravitate back to Calla’s hand and the questions would start again.
Our first instinct is always to protect those we love. I came away from the encounter with a heavy heart because I had seen for the first time up close what “our little” princess will face thru out her life. Calla will have to be confident in herself so that she will not be defined by her hand. Trust me to date she has made the adjustments needed to compensate; she can do anything she sets her mind to and is truly fearless. (which got us both in trouble yesterday – she was jumping off the diving board and I was catching her – I told her it was time to go back to the shallow end of the pool and I started swimming towards Hunter, Calla was walking along the side of the pool – the next thing I know her Dad is jumping in the deep in clothes and all to get her – told you she has NO FEAR).
Right now as a family we can stand in the “gap” and buffer Calla from questions but the time is fast approaching that she will enter the “world” alone. Our job as family is to prepare Calla for these encounters. On a whole we are doing what we feel will help Calla in the days to come. Mostly we are loving her “with all our hearts” as Hunter says, which isn’t hard cause she is such a little charmer.

We often look at these people as less than perfect and thank God that we are. Well, we may not have outward deformities but grant it we are all far from perfect. So, the next time you see someone that you “feel sorry” for instead of thanking God it is not you – how about asking him for a extra portion of His grace for them, to strength them and make their life easier instead of thinking how lucky you are. Calla might not be “perfect” in your eyes but in the families and God eyes she could not be more perfect – unless God had added wings and make her an angle.
Today I still feel an ache in my heart for a little girl I love so dearly not because I feel sorry for her but because I do not ever want her heart to hurt because of some uneducated idiot says something to her. And because her family will not always be able to protect her from such people. If it was up to me I would just follow her around and poke these folks in the head with a sharp stick.
My prayer for Calla is that God will grant her a special portion of His grace though out her life. I also pray for all those that are “special” in some way. May they walk in confidence in this life and the next when their physical body will be perfect,

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