The weather has been both unseasonably warm and unbelievably beautiful for the past few weeks. The temperatures have soured into the low 90's with the skies maintaining a brilliant happy blue hue. After the seemingly endless line of snowstorms we were dealt this past winter, the warm weather is especially appreciated. I have to remind myself that we are only in the beginning of April!
After enduring an "epic battle of the shirts" with Robby, he has finally accepted short sleeves as a summer wardrobe item. I must give credit to Scott for this victory. I came home from my CAT scan last week and found Robby with tear stained cheeks, but he was also wearing a short sleeve shirt. I am glad that I did not witness the battle, but I am thankful that Scott won!
My transition into my summer wardrobe is not nearly as traumatic as it was for Robby, although I was discouraged by the inexplicable shrinking that occurred to my pants during their winter hibernation. I changed my exercise routine, stopped eating the cookies we baked and I'm happy to report that everything fits again. Finally, I am summer ready!
I put my favorite pair of shorts the other day, gathered Robby and his list, and headed to the grocery store. Robby was being especially well-behaved at the store. In fact, he was friendly and engaging to the other shoppers. Robby was saying hello and waving to shoppers in close proximity and those that were an aisle away. My goodness, he was certainly in a good mood!
Initially I was pleased with this good behavior, and had flirted with the notion that perhaps he is outgrowing Robby Rotten. And then I took a closer look at the situation, and I realized what was happening. I was turning heads of other shoppers as I was walking around the store. While I'd like to believe it was because of my stunning blue eyes and hard fought for figure, I suspect the culprit is more sinister.
I was being stared at because my prosthetic was visible. Robby noticed the attention but was oblivious about the cause. He simply responded by acknowledging the looks and responding in turn. In his own little way, he was "catching" the starers and drawing attention to their behavior.
I was able to walk around the grocery store in the winter months without garnering any attention because I was wearing jeans. Now that I have transitioned to my summer wardrobe, my prosthetic is visible. One of the unfortunate results of showing my prosthetic is the gawking and hushed comments of my fellow shoppers.
When I first became aware of the stares, I became self-conscious. My instinct was to leave my cart, grab Robby and go home. I toyed with the notion of swiping the loudspeaker and shouting, "Attention Giant shoppers. There is a freak in the meat department. Go and see before she gets lost in frozen foods." However, I knew that approach would probably lead to my arrest, giving the gawkers the opportunity to see an amputee in handcuffs. I imagine that would certainly be the highlight of their day, and a sight they would recall for years to come!
Instead, I opted to keep my head high, push my cart and continue with my shopping. I know that I will become accustomed to the curiosity as the summer progresses. I choose to keep my leg uncovered and I am well aware that this decision leads me open to increased stares and inquiries. I had become accustomed to being "incognito" as an amputee during the long winter, so the stares were a swift dose of "amputee reality."
Whenever I turned an aisle or walked past another shopper, I heard Robby say hello. It became fun watching the shoppers try to ignore my little boy who was calling out their stares. Perhaps I'll encourage Robby to bring his camera to the grocery store the next time we go. He loves snapping pictures of people looking in his direction. Just imagining the shock and shame of these individuals if their acts were captured on a Fisher Price camera by a child! Perhaps that would hush some of the whispers, and shorten a few of the stares.