Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lifting the Weight from my Shoulders

Yesterday Mimi, Tess and I went to the pediatric podiatrist to get Mimi some inserts for her shoes. Mimi has Cerebral Palsy and has done incredibly well, but still can’t use her right side so good. The inserts help with her balance and walking.

Seeing those types of doctors’ (and there are many), drains me. I feel as if someone adds a weight to my shoulders for a few hours after each appointment. Everything looks gray.

This morning, as the twins and I were putting on our shoes to go outside, Mimi said, ‘I don’t want to wear my shoes with the inserts’.

‘Why not?’ I asked.

‘I want to wear plain shoes like Tess,’ she answered.

Tess chimed in, ‘Mama? I want Mimi to be normal like me.’

This took my breath away and tears began streaming down my face. As if someone flicked a switch in my gut and I had no control over my emotions. Up to this point, I thought only Mimi was aware of her condition, but clearly her twin has realized it as well.

I squatted down to look the girls in the eyes and I said, ‘Mimi is normal. She is just different from you Tess. But you are different from me and I am different from Daddy. No two people are the same—not even identical twins.’

Mimi softly rested her little hand on my shoulder and said, ‘I want to be like Tess, too Mama... Are you crying?’

‘No Lovey, I am not crying. I am allergic to my make-up and it makes my eyes water. Listen, Mimi—I wouldn’t want you to be like Tess, or for her to be like you. I like you both exactly the way you are. Please don’t ever change.’

‘Mmmmmmmmmm...Okay,’ she muttered, as she looked back down and finished putting on her sturdy brown leather shoes.

They stood up. Tess put both her arms around Mimi and Mimi put her left arm around Tess, they hugged each other tightly and kissed. Then they walked out the backdoor to get on with their day.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Jenny- Thanks for sharing stories like this. As much as they are difficult to hear (yet sweet at the same time), and as much as they make me cry every time... it is so important for me to hear these stories. It just makes me want to be there with you all even more. Since I can't put my arms around those girlies, please do it for me.