At the end of last week, my self-esteem was skyrocketing. The sun was shining and I was able to trade the winter white hue of my skin for a healthy tan. I had, if not conquered, at least taken a chunk out of my fear of riding the bike outside. I felt strong and pretty. I was enthusiastic to begin our family summer vacation.
On Friday, we packed up and flew to Ohio. We were visiting my mother-in-law and were planning to attend the annual family reunion. The reunion has always been a lot of fun in years past. It is held on the farm which has been in the family for more than 100 years. Scott and I both knew that Robby was going to love the tractor and hay rides that have become a tradition.
After a full day of traveling with a toddler, we finally arrived at my mother-in-law's house. (I am sure you know where this blog is going.) I was tired. I needed to use the bathroom. I promptly clogged her toilet. I had to get my husband to go and ask his mother for the plunger. Humiliation strike number one.
The turnout was high for this year's reunion. After eating and the annual water balloon toss, the family piled onto a hay wagon for the much anticipated ride. Most of the kids were seated on the straw bales down the center of the wagon. The adults were perched along the sides.
I remember going on the hay rides, but I don't recall them being so bumpy. Maybe the tractor was pulling faster than in years past, or perhaps it was the route that was taken. Whatever the reason, we bounced along the road with the wind blowing through my hair and my legs dangling freely.
Without warning and in one swift motion, my prosthetic flew off my stump. It landed in the brush weeds along the side of the road. Instinctively I yelled out, "Oh sh@%! I just lost my leg." Instantly the family was aware of the incident. The wagon stopped.
Upon hearing me yell, Robby began to cry. He was obviously upset that his Mommy lost her leg. Through the giggles and laughter, I tried to comfort him. He calmed only after my leg was retrieved and securely attached.
In spite of providing a giggle for the other passengers, I was embarrassed. Regardless of the company, it is never a comfortable situation when I lose my leg. Humiliation strike number two.
After the picnic and some much needed rest, the family opted to eat out for dinner. We went to Frisch's, a family dining restaurant. Robby was tired. A lot of exercise along with no nap combined to create a restaurant monster. We ordered the one remedy guaranteed to quiet the restaurant monster: a milk shake. Robby sucked on his milk shake while we hurredly ate our meal. Anxious for a quick and uneventful exit, I took the check along with my husband's debit card to the register to pay the bill.
The cashier, who incidentally didn't look a day over 15, took the check and the debit card. (I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Scott's debit card features his photo in the corner.) The cashier looked at the photo on the card, and then looked at me. With a confused look, she reexamined the card and then stared at me. Slowly, she rang up the bill and swiped the card.
She leaned over the counter and handed me the card and receipt. Looking around for eavesdroppers, she motioned me to lean forward. In a hushed tone she said, "Your surgeon did a really good job. You hardly look like a man anymore." Humiliation strike number three.
Unable to think quickly of a witty response and feeling deflated, I returned to the car. I relayed the story to my husband, who laughed and immediately began calling me "Pete." I suppose the old adage that says, "Pride goeth before the fall" holds true. I arrived in Ohio feeling on top of the world. By the end of the trip I was clicking my heels, saying "there is no place like home." When that didn't work, I sought the comfort of a hot fudge sundae.
- 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.