I have learned that I am no longer afforded the luxury of staying inside after a large snowfall. The past few days, while I was wishing I was curled in my comfy rocker and covered with a warm quilt, I was outside playing. I was envious of my Mom who was watching and laughing from her window.
I have learned how to "dress" my prosthetic for snow fun. I discovered that placing an activated hand warmer in the socket helps to keep my stump from becoming too cold. (Cold stumps are prone to cramping which is never a good thing.) With the addition of a boot, my swim leg is transformed into my snow leg. I don't have to worry about the ankle rusting or freezing up, so I no longer have to wrap the prosthetic to protect the components. Sometimes small improvements can be liberating!
After his Nana was appropriately dug out, Robby and I set out up the street to "help" the neighbors. We ran into neighbors up and down the street, many of whom I remember from my childhood. Robby was eager to assist with their snow removal needs, throwing piles of snow over his shoulder as he was happily digging away. We usually ended our visit with more snow piles in the path that had just been cleared, but nobody begrudged the help from my eager little snow shoveler!
Although I was tired, I was pleased that my leg was holding up well under the snowy challenge. My limb wasn't cold, and my socket was instantly more comfortable after I removed the gloves that were hiding inside. My amputation was not impeding our snow fun. I was just another bundled up parent, playing with her child.
Robby stopped to help a neighbor that I vividly remember from my childhood. This family had three boys, all close in age to myself and my siblings. Their Mom used to call and "report" any issues that their child encountered when playing with the other neighborhood kids. My Mom used to get a LOT of phone calls from this lady. Apparently she didn't realize that the more she called and ratted us out, the more we wanted to torment her children!
After exchanging awkward pleasantries and catching up on the families jobs/families/locations, I was anxious to keep walking. Robby had a different idea. He had discovered a "super super super big pile of snow" that he was convinced needed to be moved. He set to work. I was left making more small talk with the chatty, tattling neighbor from my past.
I filled him in on where I live and my past profession as a teacher. We talked about Robby and Scott. We even talked about my Mom, her retirement and her return from a cruise. The conversation moved to my siblings.
He asked about my brother, and I told him that Jae was doing well. He then paused and asked me about my sister, the "really fat one with one leg." Stunned, I tried to think of a graceful way of exiting the conversation. I just looked at him, smiled and said that he was talking about me.
After an uncomfortable apology and some snow kicking on both sides, I gathered Robby to go home. I managed to convince him that Nana was calling for help because she needed more snow moved from in front of the mailbox. I couldn't help but shake my head on the walk back home. There is a reason that we used to throw corn at his son at the bus stop. There is also a reason that, when I was little, I let my new puppy pee on this neighbors leg. Apparently I was perceptive and good at reading people at a young age!
I enjoyed walking up the street with Robby. I want to foster his desire to help other people, even though the assistance of a three year old isn't always needed! It is important that he learn to reach out to other people and to offer to help. I also liked visiting with neighbors from my childhood. It is amazing how many people still reside on the street!