I find it hard to believe that my little baby boy is going to be three years old tomorrow. In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital, swaddled in his froggy blanket. It also feels like I have known him my whole life. I guess that is how it is with a Mommy's heart.
On Robby's first birthday, Scott and I began the tradition of spending the day with him doing a special activity. That first year we went to the National Zoo. Last year we went to his favorite petting zoo. This year, because he is a "big boy" we are going to go to an amusement park.
Amusement parks present a myriad of issues to an amputee. First, there is always a lot of walking. For some reason architects seem to build the parks on the sides of hills!
I have to dress thoughtfully when going to an amusement park. I need to remove my leg for all rides in which my legs dangle. Because I'll be pulling my leg on and off all day, I need to wear shorts. I always encounter more stares when I wear shorts, and for some reason amusement parks seem to liberate people because the stares are always more intense and deliberate.
In addition to his roles as Daddy and ride partner, Scott must assume the job of "leg runner." I must take the limb off in front of everybody and watch as Scott carries it to the operator's seat. I often find myself embarrassed. When the ride is over, I have to stay put until Scott can retrieve my leg. At times watching him walk around carrying a leg can be quite a spectacle.
I learned the hard way the necessity of removing a prosthetic before riding. In the spring of my first year as an amputee I accompanied my student to an amusement park for her class trip. We went to ride the swings, and I made sure she was buckled in correctly before taking a seat behind her.
The ride started. About half way through the ride, I felt my leg begin to slip. Before I could even process what was going on it happened. My prosthetic slipped off my stump and went swooping away from me. It flew over the ride fence and knocked over the easel of a portraiture artist about 30 feet away from me.
Mortified I had to sit and wait for the wide-eyed teenager to retrieve my leg. Ever since this experience I am sure to remove my prosthetic even if it does cause some embarrassment.
- I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.