About Me

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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, January 22, 2013

Ice Lesson

I am delighted that Robby has found a sport that he loves.  He is excited before each lesson and begs to attend the practice sessions between classes. Watching him on the ice as he is concentrating on everything that the instructor says and deliberately practicing each skill, I can't help but smile. I'm becoming comfortable enough with him on the ice that I only mildly cringe each time he falls, and Scott is becoming better at resisting his impulse to run on the ice to help him. In some ways, I think we are all learning during his lessons!

It has taken me awhile to get into the swing of being an ice mom, but I think I finally have it down. There is a large box in our trunk which is stocked with his skating gear (snowpants, gloves, helmet and skates) as well as all of the layers required for bundling for Scott and me to stay comfy while standing in a large freezer for an hour at a time. Okay, comfortable might be an understatement, but the freezing temperature is at least bearable.

Watching Robby during his skating lessons is a highlight of my week. I love to see him listening to his teacher and diligently practicing everything that was demonstrated. He is so proud and enthusiastic with each skill he masters.

While I enjoy his lessons, I have come to dread the practice sessions. Because Robby is enrolled in the Learn to Skate program, he is permitted to bring a partner onto the ice to help him practice during designated times. While all of the other little novice skaters are practicing with a parent at their side, Robby is by himself.

Robby has never complained, but I know that he would love it if I were skating with him. I realize that some amputees can ice skate, but I suspect that most possessed the ability before their limb loss. I have never been able to skate, and the prospect of attaching thin metal blades to the bottom of my foot and prosthesis and attempting to maneuver a slick surface is overwhelming. I can't imagine the various ways I could injury myself during what would surely be a comical attempt at skating.

I'm sure I could learn how to skate. It has taken time for me to realize that just because something is possible does necessarily mean that it is a good idea. I'm still recovering from my fall two months ago. Falling again and inflicting another serious injury is not a risk I am willing to take at this point in my life. 

Instead of going into SuperWoman mode and mastering a skill out of a desire to somehow prove myself, I have taken another approach. I sat down Robby and explained that not skating with him made me sad. I wanted to acknowledge the fact that he was the only child without a parent on the ice, and I needed to make sure that he understood the reasons. Robby sat quietly as I proceeded with my rehearsed speech.

I talked about my fall and the impact of the injuries on both legs. We talked about number of times that he falls and, although it is fun for him because he's little, I'm getting old and it hurts to hit the ice. I ended by telling him that, although I can do many things with him, this was one activity that was too risky for me to try right now.

It was hard admitting that I can't do everything, but I am trying to remain positive. Although I am highly active, I do have limitations. Learning to live within them and honoring safety is an important life lesson.

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