When I first became an amputee I was insistent that I would always don a cosmetic cover. I knew that my leg was not "real," yet I did not want anybody else to know that I used a prosthetic. I didn't wear the cover out of shame or embarrassment, rather I think I just wasn't ready to confront the reality that I was different.
As time went on I became more confident and I stopped trying to match my prosthetic to my natural leg. I realized that it wasn't an original part of me but that it was beautiful in its own right. I no longer needed to blend in with everybody else. I accepted that I was unique and embraced my new body, carbon fiber and titanium included.
I only think about the visibility of my prosthetic when I know that I don't want to draw unnecessary attention. When I was in a wedding a few years ago I wore a flesh tone legging over my socket. I didn't do this out of shame. Rather, I knew that walking down the aisle sporting a black carbon fiber socket could draw attention away from the focus of the event- the bride.
Next week Robby and I are going to meet his teacher and classmates for the first time. I want the attention to be on Robby, not on my prosthesis. He deserves the opportunity to make his own first impression. I worry that my leg would take the focus away from where it belongs during this important meeting, so I have decided to be discrete and wear pants.
I always feel oddly guilty when I make an effort to conceal my prosthetic. I'm not ashamed of being an amputee. I don't want to give the impression that I am embarrassed. That being said, I feel that it is imperative Robby be given his own chance to shine. I want him to be known for who he is, not because his Mom uses a prosthetic leg.