About Me

My photo
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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why I Wore Pants

Over the years I have become comfortable with my body and its new form. It has taken me a long time, but I finally reached a place where I could wear my prosthetic with pride instead of embarrassment. My prosthetic is not my biological leg, and I no longer feel compelled to try to replicate what I lost.

Carbon fiber and titanium springs can be just as beautiful and functional as skin and bone. I haven't worn a cosmetic cover on my prosthetic in years although I understand and respect that other amputees choose to wear a cover. I think that choice is one of the greatest advantages of being an amputee!

I'm not embarrassed about being an amputee, but I have come to realize that showing my prosthetic in public comes with a cost. The visible components are a magnet for stares and attention. The first few days of Kindergarten are not about me--they are about Robby. Yesterday morning while preparing for the Kindergarten evaluations, I struggled with whether or not I should have my prosthetic visible.

I wanted Robby's classmates to get to know him on his own merits before learning that his mom has a robot leg. I knew that by donning my typical wardrobe with my prosthetic in full sight, the attention would automatically be shifted from him onto me. I wanted my son to have the attention of his peers, not me and my leg.

After struggling with what I should wear, I realized that Robby deserved the right to make his own first impression. Yesterday morning, despite the temperatures, I wore pants to the Kindergarten evaluation. I didn't conceal my leg out of shame or embarrassment. I didn't even wear pants to try to spare Robby from the comments of his classmates. I wore pants because the moment was about Robby and not about me.

In time his peers will discover my prosthetic, and I have no doubt that they will be fascinated. I will use my leg as an opportunity to educate them about amputees and people with disabilities. Yesterday I did not feel that it was the appropriate time for that lesson.

Despite my best efforts to keep it from happening, Robby is growing up. I find it impossible to believe that he is five and ready for school. Unfortunately, everybody keeps reminding me that I am now the parent to a school aged child!

1 comment:

  1. I work with kids and am always sensitive to showing my leg during the first few weeks while they get to know me. Also helps keep them focused on learning instead of focused on me. At the same time, I also think it's so important for kids to see my leg and get comfortable with people who are different. It's great that you feel comfortable enough to see it as an opportunity.