Tuesday, October 28, 2014

11 Months

10 months, 3 weeks, 2 days to be exact.
That's how long it took for strangers to notice Hazel's small stature.
When we first began sharing her diagnosis with loved ones, we were often asked, "When will it become noticeable?"
I never really knew how to handle the question. I noticed it. Specialists noticed it. Other people in the LP community noticed it.
But now strangers are noticing it. And commenting on it. And asking questions.
We were at our favorite place for lunch, Chick-fil-A as a special mid-week treat. After finishing our meal (rather, after Annabelle ate all her food, as well as half of my nuggets, and most of my fries!), it was time to run, climb, and slide. Annabelle took off ahead of me, ready to play.
I sat on a small bench next to a friend, and put Hazel down to crawl around the floor for a bit.
She scooted and commando-crawled all over the place, as fast as she could. She squealed and giggled the whole time, watching the bigger kids climb and slide. I flashed back to Annabelle at that age. By a year, she was climbing along with the bigger kids, cruising all over the place.
Some of the other Moms who were watching their kids play, commented on Hazel.
"Look at her go!"
"She's quick!"
"So strong!"
"Is she just a peanut? Or just really strong for her age?"
There it was.
The height of a 4-month-old, moving around like an 8-month-old.
But nearing her 1st birthday.
"Well, she's almost 11 months."
Suddenly the comments regarding her strength and speed seemed to fall from the air and shatter into a million little pieces. She isn't quick or strong for a typical 11-month-old.
While my eyes never left Hazel, careful that she didn't get stepped on or tripped over by the gaggle of preschoolers around her, I could feel the awkwardness in the air.
11 months old? She should be practically walking by now. She's so small.
"She has a form of dwarfism, so she's very short for her age."
I didn't go into detail about her low tone, or delayed physical development.
I just didn't know what to say.
Yes, she's  peanut. But there's so much more to it than just that.
There is so much to HER than just that.
Hazel is a little comedian. Hazel doesn't let anything stand in her way. Hazel is a very happy little girl.
Hazel is little and loving it!