Finn usually wears socks in public. He has silly feet. But today we left the house barefoot. It’s too hot for socks!
I entered Target with Finn strapped sock-less against my chest, and I became immediately conscious that people may stare at his feet swinging beside my hip. God was sweet to show me not one, but four handicapped children shopping with their parents in the short hour I was zooming around the store. I whispered, “Thank you, Lord,” in the peanut butter aisle. He reminded me that we’re not alone, and it gave me confidence to show off this incredible, beautiful child…feet, shunt and all. Finn was literally staring up at me smiling the entire time. I think he was reminding me to focus on him, not his Spina Bifida.
We met an intelligent, inspiring woman named Kendall last weekend who also has Spina Bifida. She and her sweet parents have done an incredible job embracing life and identity apart from this sometimes terrifying, unpredictable birth defect. It’s been a tough year for Kendall but she continues to live gratefully–giving love, inspiration and remarkable faith. And she also gave Finn this bear.
My friend, Taylor, has such a unique perspective on things: from the invention of the mattress to living out your faith. Her wisdom has challenged me for over ten years. She said (or texted, can’t remember) something so profound once: my perspective on Finn’s disability will become his perspective. If I think his feet are awesome (AND THEY ARE), then he might think they’re awesome. If I focus on what he can do, maybe he won’t focus too much on what he can’t. If we help him find identity apart from his disability, he may not identify with it quite so much. He just may go barefoot.