The Things That Make me, ME, By Zoe May Smith, Grade 6

“I’ve got this fin, and you should see me swim!” Tony Memmel

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Everybody is different”?  Lots of people can’t put a finger on their differences or other people’s differences (although some people see differences right away, but call them flaws).  In my case however, people see it right away.

When I was in my mom’s stomach, when all of my limbs were still growing, something caused my left arm to stop growing just below my elbow.  Now I am eleven, and my arm still comes to a little “nub”.  It will never grow into a hand, and it will never grow any further past my elbow.  As I get older it will grow thicker and longer as regular arms do.  I know lots of people with an arm like mine.  For some people it’s their little arm.  For others it’s their lucky fin.  Me-I prefer special arm.

Some people (the ones who have no idea what they’re talking about) say that they feel sorry for me.  That is ALWAYS before they get to know me.  Whenever someone says that, I tell them about Helping Hands [Foundation]; an organization for people and families just like me.  That usually brings them from pity to envy in two seconds flat!  If that doesn’t work, I tell them that my special arm makes me, me.  I wouldn’t be quite the same person if I had ten fingers.

Having one arm has done many things for me.  I am very self-confident for example.  I can come up and say to people “This is me, I’m not going to change, this is who I am, take it or leave it.”

My special arm gives me strength to do things, especially when people tell me they might be hard for me.  Recently, I learned to ride a horse.  My motivation?  To prove that I can.  It turns out, I love horseback riding.  It also makes me creative.  It makes me think “Hmmm-how do I pull my hair up into a bun?”

My arm is part of who I am, and I wouldn’t want a full left arm if I could have one. And do you want to know why? Because I love my lucky fin!

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