About Me

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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.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Back to Reality...

We just returned from a wonderful family vacation. Robby loved the ocean, but was more enthralled by the pool. We swam and played in the pool every day, several times per day. We averaged at least 4 hours of quality pool time per day. We swam and played so much that he eagerly took long afternoon naps and went to bed without complaint.

I've always loved to swim and I am thrilled that Robby is turning into my Little Waterbug. To be honest, I probably could have stayed in the pool all day. Alas, my Mommy duties interrupted that possibility as Robby wanted to be fed, changed etc. As I was walking in the water, pulling Robby on a large lizard raft, I realized why I was drawn to the pool on this vacation.

In the water, my disability is neutralized. Because I now have a water-leg I am able to walk and play with Robby just like every other parent. Limps don't manifest in water. In the pool, I wasn't disabled. I was just a happy Mommy playing with her son. It was wonderful.

Unfortunately, all good things must end. We packed up and got ready to go home. Scott and I both felt refreshed from our week away from "the world." Robby chatted about going home and his vacation adventures as we drove to the airport.

The airport in Pensacola is tiny. Going through security, it was obvious that they do not have a lot of experience with amputees. As I was watching Scott do the "airport juggle," I stood and patiently waited for the "female assist" to clear me.

Scott certainly had his hands full, and, had I not felt bad for him, it would have been comical to watch. He was struggling to retrieve the computer bag, Robby's Diego backpack and the car seat, all while trying to keep a screaming little three year old from running over to the security pat down area with me.

When the security screener saw that I had a prosthetic, I knew instantly that she was inexperienced with amputees. More than the fear on her face, her mumbling tipped me off. As she approached and looked at my prosthetic, I heard her mutter, "Oh sh@&. I don't remember how to do this."

She stood before me, holding the explosive detector in one hand, and she didn't move. She then smiled, leaned forward, and asked me if I've been through this before. I said that I had, and she relaxed and began to smile. She then asked me for instructions. The experience certainly didn't instill a lot of confidence in the TSA!

We were delayed leaving Florida which posed the possibility of our missing our connection in Atlanta. We rushed to the gate only to realize that the connecting plane was also delayed. Thankfully, we were able to make the connection.

I knew I was in trouble when he looked at me and flashed his mischievous gap-toothed grin. He said, "No time out on airplane." Robby was a true pickle on the plane. Having to wait on the tarmac for almost an hour before taking off certainly didn't help his disposition.

He was tired of traveling, tired of sitting down, tired of being confined and just plain tired. He was loud, and I was forced to entertain him the entire flight. Other passengers were giving me "the look." I felt helpless as Robby's disruptions were permeating through the plane.

When we finally landed, I was exhausted. I had scratches all over my arms from Robby's tantrums on the plane. My legs were bruised from his kicking as I tried to confine him. I had a headache from his screaming. Our family vacation was wonderful. Unfortunately, I now feel like I need a vacation because of the traveling home from our trip.

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