Be Warned: Sappy Curves Ahead

About a year ago this time, Bryan and I visited a specialist to look at Binja’s foot.  More specifically, his lucky foot.   We were warned at that point that we had a long road ahead of us.

About the point Binja started crawling, we returned.  What had once been a “what if” scenario involving leg-lengthening and bone-stretching was now moved up to “when”.  Although the doc seemed to think it was unnecessary, I begged for Binja to have a brace made so that his foot could be stabilized and maybe the difference in length could be compensated.  The doc relented and we had one made.

When he first got the brace, he just stopped using that leg entirely.  It was hard to watch.  But as time went by, he relaxed and got used to it.  Then he was unstoppable.  He was EVERYWHERE.  In every room, at every bookcase, cruising at a speed that baffled me.

Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) asks me, all the time, when I’m having another kid.  Kinda like my set isn’t complete until I’ve got a pair.  Which is silly, I know, but I’m not sure I can definitely say one way or the other.  And the big reason?  Binja gets my full attention until we can get the foot thing taken care of.  He deserves me fully-committed until the big issues are conquered.  I have, many times, said “not until this one’s potty trained”, but what I really mean is “not until this one is walking on the lucky foot”.

We’ve gotten through this marvelously well, I think.  We joke, perhaps wildly inappropriately, about his handicap.  Hell, the day after he was born, his Uncle Kevin visited him in the hospital and declared that he’s got the part of Tiny Tim wrapped up.  But behind our humor, there is always an ounce of fear and a pound of determination.  We WILL get through this, Binja.  You will NOT be alone in this.  I’ve learned to say “My son was born with a foot deformity” matter-of-factly and emotionlessly, maybe with a tinge of compassion that, yes, I know this is awkward to listen to but yet I don’t need your sympathy, we’re fine, thanks. 

And I can’t lie.  There are still a LOT of times that I fear for him.  Jesus.  It’s hard enough being a mom, but being a mom knowing that your child has a handicap to overcome?  And wanting to walk that line of tough love and letting him figure things out on his own but OHMYGOD wanting to protect him from all the evil and do it all for him?  There are just not words.  There aren’t.

My child (and my family) is blessed with having many extraordinary, loving people around him.  I know that it will probably read “It takes a village” on my tombstone because I preach it at every opportunity, but I do so because I’ve seen the product of it.  And it eases my mind tremendously to know that regardless of the world’s harsh climate, he’ll have a warm place to come home to.

And yes, in case you were wondering, there is guilt.  Stupid, unfounded guilt that shouldn’t exist and I know that and is irritating all the more because of it.  Guilt that I should’ve somehow known that his foot was growing wrong.  Or, more astutely, guilt that I DID know and just brushed it off.  I spent the last three months of my pregnancy pointing to one spot under my bra where I felt his feet never move.  Permanently glued to that rib.  And when I mentioned having another baby to Bryan over pillow talk the other night, he joked, “Why?  Another broken foot baby?”  And it wounded me terribly.  He didn’t mean it that harshly, obviously.. a side effect of us making inappropriate remarks to get through it is not knowing where the callouses end and the flesh begins.  But yes, I fear, beyond any science or reason, that it was a defect in ME that did this.

But enough of that.  Ask me what I want for Christmas.

What do you want for Christmas, Sarah?

Today, my child walked.  As if he’d been walking for months.  My father stopped by while running errands, and my child walked circles around him.  With grace and control and with two feet that worked the same way.

I am crying as I type this.  I got my Christmas wish.

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15 Responses to Be Warned: Sappy Curves Ahead

  1. Christina December 23, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    I just burst into tears! What an amazing boy- I dont really know what to say. I only know the Mom part of this not the lucky foot side but this is an amazing day.
    I am so happy for you and the boy! Truly.
    Merry Christmas!

    Christina’s last blog post..Finished

  2. montysano December 23, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    You know, I was always tempted to say “Don’t worry, he’ll be fine.” However, when each of my kids had challenges, that’s the last thing I would have wanted to hear from someone. But I always thought “Don’t worry, he’ll be fine” anyway.

    Awesome news.

  3. Tonya December 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm #

    What a wonderful little bundle of joy he is! This truly has touched my heart and I am so happy that you shared your Christmas present with us… Merry Christmas sweetie!

  4. Christina December 23, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    That is fantastic, he is adorable. When you wrote last year about his “lucky foot” I wanted to cry for you. I know how hard it is to have a child with any kind of problem, and you guys seem to have done wonderfully. When I read this today, I wanted to cry for you again. He is an amazing little boy, Merry Christmas.

    Christina’s last blog post..Men are from where?

  5. Elaine December 23, 2008 at 6:52 pm #


    You know, people never ever asked me when I was going to have another kid when Helen was a baby. Ever. Maybe because I didn’t give off the gosh-I-love-being-a-mommy-of-a-baby vibe, I don’t know. But no one ever asked me that.

    You don’t give off that vibe — you clearly are enjoying every moment, and I envy you that.

    Congratulations on your Christmas present. 🙂

    Elaine’s last blog post..Just for you, Nancy.

  6. Stephanie December 23, 2008 at 7:08 pm #

    And I cried as I read it. Congratulations, Binja! And merry Christmas, mom!

  7. Jamie December 23, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    Yeah Binja! I am so happy for you both!

    Jamie’s last blog post..Santa

  8. BrownBabys December 23, 2008 at 9:24 pm #

    BTW, please try and keep the brace on as much as possible…it is, after all, a corrective device. Sometimes moms/dads/grandparents may cause a little discomfort in order to benefit the child.

    Like, duh. 🙂

  9. Stacy December 24, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    OMG! I’m so thrilled for you! He walks like a champ. (Noah just started walking too!) Lots of emotion in that post … I really admire you sharing. You are an excellent mother and your love,openness and warmth really shine through. Tony is a lucky boy!

  10. Geoff Taylor December 25, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    During the last few months my mom was carrying me the umbilical cord got wrapped around my right arm. At birth I couldn’t move my right arm at all. This was 1971 and the doctors told my mom I just had to live with it. She and my aunt, a nurse, wouldn’t accept that. They both did physical therapy with my arm, exercising it daily. There’s still bone structure issues– I can’t twist my right hand to have my palm up flat, my elbow is a little screwy and my shoulder isn’t “just right”. I grew up very self conscience about it. I’m left handed of course… so I could swing a bat, but I couldn’t catch worth a flip. Swimming was an issue with my weaker right arm. Etc, etc. Anything right handed can still be very awkward. Something like this today would hopefully (probably) be treated even better than I had access to… and I know my mom feels guilt about it. But it wasn’t her fault.

    My sister was born with very small eyes and only able to open them a tiny bit. Can’t remember what it’s called. Again, my mom was supposed to accept it. She searched far and wide across the country and found a doctor…. in Birmingham, where we were living, that had worked out new procedures and made great advances in working with children like my sister. He was nationally known, there’s even an eye clinic in Birmingham now named after him in the UAB area. But in 1973? No doctor in Birmingham seemed to even have a clue about him. They should have. With surgery and more surgery her first few years of life my sister now has “smaller eyes” than most people but is otherwise fine. These days, of course, babies born with similar issues have even better options. My mom felt serious guilt about my sister. But again, not her fault.

    We’ve both grown up just fine. We’re both happy people. Kids find something, anything to be self conscience about so even if I had no problems with my arm or my sister’s eyes were fine we probably would have found something else to bother us.

    Tony will have to deal with his foot some times. It’ll bother him. But he’ll get past it and be just fine…. there’s no need for mommy to feel guilty.

    Geoff Taylor’s last blog post..Reality Strikes

  11. KathyHowe December 27, 2008 at 11:52 am #

    OMG! MERRY Christmas indeed!!!!!!!!

  12. Gena Wilhite December 27, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Who knew you gave birth to Santa Claus? I always knew he had it in him.

    Some day soon you’ll be chuckling and reminiscing about these times, saying things like “well, there was a time that we didn’t know if Binja would be able to run and get Mommy another dry vodka martini, but look at him now!”

    Love you

  13. bessie.viola December 29, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

    Oh, Sarah! I am crying… what an amazing, miracle little boy you have. I am so happy for you! The most perfect Christmas ever, I’m sure.

    Way to go, Binja!!

    bessie.viola’s last blog post..homesick

  14. Pocklock December 30, 2008 at 8:02 pm #

    YAY BINJA! I’m so happy for ALL of you! What a fantastic Christmas present!

    Pocklock’s last blog post..Hiccup


  1. The Anvil Tree » Update on the Lucky Foot - March 22, 2010

    […] So, I know I have a new influx of readers, and it occurred to me this weekend that I was due for an update on The Lucky Foot. (Also: this post still makes me cry.) […]

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