Questions For My Mom

July 5, 2012 — 8 Comments

My mom is awesome.

Vintage photo of mom and me.

To that end, I’m going to be recording a podcast with her soon and I need your help.

I have a bunch of personal questions that I’m curious about, but I’m sure many of you are interested in things that I wouldn’t think to ask.  So…what questions would you ask her?

I’m going to be asking her about when I was born and how that all went down and I have some questions about how she raised me.  How did she instill confidence in me?  How did she deal with people staring?  Was it challenging to teach me how to do things being that she had two hands?

Please leave your questions for my mom in the comments or email them to me through the Contact page.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this.  I think it’s going to be incredibly helpful.

Thanks for participating and keep an eye out for the podcast!


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I'm a husband, a father, an author, a speaker, a friend...all kinds of things, actually.

8 responses to Questions For My Mom

  1. What do you find the hardest obscale you have to get over? For example, teaching son to figure out how to do something whereas everybody else think cannot be done as in virtually impossible. Name a few if you cannot pick one. Next question, how do you handle prejudices placed on your child by other people due to child’s limitations?

  2. Janet (England) July 5, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Ryan, your Mum’s experience will have been a bit different to mine because my impairment is acquired, not congenital, but I was very young.

    I think, from remarks she made, that. at first, my parents didn’t know what had hit them and expected to make a lot of adjustments. However, searching my earliest memories, I think my Mum just forgot and assumed I would be able to do things because I could.

    I remember, when she was teaching me how to knit, she said, “I’ll show you what has to be done. You work out how to do it.”

    She made one big mistake. She followed every bit of so-called advice from doctors to the letter. It sometimes (often) turned out that the ‘advice’ was an unthought-out, unhelpful comment. I would have been much better-off left to my own devices.

    BTW, I had polio in October 1949. Our National Health Service (NHS) started in July 1948. I think the whole family has reason to be grateful for the NHS.

  3. Hi Ryan’s Mom! I am mostly a lurker, but wanted to chime in with my question. My daughter is 6 months and has two short arms with five fingers total. My question is “how do you deal with questions from others?”
    – Right now, being that Maggie is a baby, and most of our questions come from my 5 & 3 year old’s friends, I answer honestly about how God makes everyone different and use it as a teaching moment letting them look at Maggie and understand. But, when she is older and cognizent of those questions, I feel like I will not want to be so “teachy” about it and will want to answer and move on from that so Maggie does not feel so singled out or on display.
    So, did you evolve the way you answered/addressed questions and stares?

  4. What a treat!
    I’m going to word my questions like I’m asking her directly.

    What was your most valuable resource when you needed help/guidance? I think all of us that are used to the internet being omnipresent would find some wisdom in where you find assistance before that was the case.

    What was the best piece of advice you received (or couple pieces, if you have a few)?

    Can you talk about a time where you witnessed or assisted Ryan in overcoming a particularly difficult obstacle?

  5. My daughter is 16 months old, has one little hand and all the confidence and joie de vivre in the world. How do I help her keep that as she becomes more aware of her difference? And my biggest question is: how do I help her to have as wonderful and playful a sense of humor about her hand and life as Ryan does? I love his shenanigans and “a shark ate it” stories, and I know that laughter is so important in our lives for balance and joy. What can I do to help my daughter find her own strength and sense of humor within that?

  6. I oftentimes share with my son that his little arm is, and always has been, my favorite part of his body. I’m not just saying that to make him feel better…it is really true! He agrees (at the age of 6) that he loves his little arm and hopes to have the same 1-handed body for eternity.

    I’m wondering if there was ever a time when Ryan went from loving his arm and being confident about his appearance to wishing for 2-hands? Were there any major life events that changed his self/body-image along the way? How did you handle that as a parent?


  7. Hi Ryan’s Mom! My daughter is 11 months and has symbrachydactyly on her left hand (4 nubbins and a partial thumb / hand). She is such a happy little thing and already has such an amazing, playful personality. I want to provide her with the confidence and knowledge she needs to overcome life’s many challenges as she grows up. My question to you as a mom – How did you deal with the fact when Ryan realized he was “different from the other kids” and perhaps expressed he didn’t like his limb difference? Thinking ahead I’m sure there will be times when my daughter decides that she doesn’t like being different but I want to teach her that it’s okay to feel that way and everyone has differences – some are just more noticable than others. Any pearls of wisdom you can share from your own experiences?

  8. Your questions Ryan and everyone else’s all seem to be the main ones that I have. Maybe your mum could also talk a little about the teen years – we all had those frustrating ‘I hate myself’ feelings as teens. How did she survive teenage Ryan with his confidence intact? What teen advice would she give?

    Great stuff Ryan, I can’t wait to see the podcast!

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