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.
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Like the majority of men I know, Scott loves sports. His favorite sport depends upon the season. In the fall, it's football; winter is for hockey and more football; spring is hockey and racing; summer is racing and preseason football. Yes, most weekends I am a sports widow.
I will watch any of the above sports, primarily because he always seems to have control of the remote. I have learned the rules and even the names of a few players. I have also developed a delicious arsenal of sport food recipes that I can whip up at a moments notice for the next "big game."
I grew up with an ardent race fan-- my father. I have been to bothNascarand Indy car races several times throughout my childhood. My Dad loves the smell of hot rubber and the sounds of engines roaring and metal crunching. I would have gladly exchanged these sensations for thefluorescentlights of a mall and the smell of permanent wave solution.
Of all the sports that Scott watches, racing is his favorite. Despite watching races on television, Scott had never attended an event. Feeling experienced because I had attended races, I decided to take him to aNascarrace. I picked the track I had been to as a child and bought tickets for the Pocono 500.
Scott is a huge Robby Gordon fan. In case you are not aNascarofficianato, all you really need to know is that Robby Gordon has not won a single race as long as I have known Scott, which is going on nine years. My husband loves to root for the underdog, and Robby Gordon fits the bill.
Scott was thrilled when we arrived at the track and learned that Robby Gordon was going to be available for autographs. We went to hissouvenirtrailer and assumed our position at the back of the long line. After waiting in line for 90 minutes, we were nearing our turn for the meet and greet.
Now, I guess I should mention that, despite being a huge sports fan, Scott is also notoriously frugal about certain things. He has a difficult time buying t-shirts because he can pick them up for free from store openings and giveaways. He has one hat that he wears all the time, and doesn't feel the need to purchase another. So when the salesperson working in the trailer asked him if he wanted to purchase an item for Robby to sign, I was not surprised when he said no.
Assuming that Scott was planning on getting the ticket stub signed, I didn't question his decision. I dutifully stood beside him as we approached his racing idol. My husband was smiling like a little boy when he introduced himself to the racer.
The two men shook hands and exchanged quickpleasantries. I retrieved the tickets which, I mistakenly assumed, were destined for an autograph. To my surprise, Scott waved them off.
He proceeded to ask Robby Gordon to sign my leg. Scott explained that "it really isn't that big of a deal. She can just pop it off right now." The racer leaned over his trailer and stared at us with a perplexed look. I was so surprised all I could do was nod along and smile stupidly.
Robby Gordon wasaccommodatingand signed my prosthetic. Scott was so proud that he was able to make an impression upon his favorite sports idol. He eagerly showed his prized autograph, my prosthetic, to any and all fans who would listen. I, however, had to wear the spoils of his coup for the remainder of the summer until I was fitted with a new leg.
Memories from childhood came flooding back as we entered the grandstands. The nauseus smells mingled with the deafening sounds, making it more difficult to maintain a happy demeanor. To say that it was hot would be an understatement. To further add to our "experience" Scott and I were seated between two rather large men, both toting coolers of beer between their legs.
Halfway through his beer and midway in the race, the gentleman sitting next to me noticed my prosthetic. He loudly exclaimed his discovery to his friends, who were seated a few rows in front of us. "Hey, she don't got no leg." Scott, still proud of his autograph, took the opportunity to show off the signed prosthetic.
The race lasted nearly five hours. By the end, Scott and I were hot, tired, sunburned and odiforous. It took nearly three hours to drive the 25 miles back to our hotel. By the time we arrived at our "romantic getaway suite" we were exhausted and tired of being crammed next to each other.
Luckily, our room was equipped with two queen sized beds. We turned the air conditioner as low as possible, chugged some cold water and opted for a hearty handshake as we retired to separate beds.