I’ve been talking more recently about Namine’s caudal regression. Not a whole lot is clear about it; what may or may not happen in the future, even the current state of her hips, legs, and feet, all of that – it’s uncertain. But one thing is for certain: she’s not a normal child. It’s evident that she’s not a normal child, because her legs are shorter and her feet are shaped weird. So of course, people who don’t know her stare. At the mall, we still get stares; by now, you’d think we’d be used to the stares by now, but every once in a while we’re again surprised that we get angry at those stares. But do you know who doesn’t stare? Namine’s playmate friends in the neighborhood.
The first time we introduce Namine to an adult, the reaction is fairly predictable: uncomfortable silence, staring, awkward leads into conversation, more staring while trying not to stare, and more silence. But when Namine was introduced to several little girls (older than her, of course; she was under two years old then and remains the youngest on the block), there were of course a child’s curiosity-induced questions: why do her legs look like that? why are her feet shaped like that? what’s that on her neck?
But such questions merely stem from curiosity. And once those questions were out of the way, they were forgotten. As far as they were concerned, Namine was just as normal as them – smaller, a little less mobile, but just as exuberant, joyful, and playful. And most important of all, accepting.
And thanks to the eyes of these children, she fits right in.