Yesterday afternoon I had a glimpse into my future and it terrified me. We were at the farm, picking grapes when Timmy decided to explore. At first he was playing in the vineyard but quickly made his way to the small dirt road. In an instant he took off running, occasionally laughing and squealing as Robby and I chased.
My current suspension system on my leg works great for walking but does not create a strong enough seal to run. With each step I felt my leg release, and I realized that it was a matter of time before I ran out of my prosthesis altogether. I was horrified when I realized that I couldn't catch him.
At one point Timmy stopped and took off his shoes, allowing us to almost catch up with him. Typically I am frustrated when he sheds his shoes, but this time I was relieved because I thought that we would quickly swoop him up. As it turns out his shoes were slowing him down, and he was able to run much quicker with his bare feet. The fact that we were on a gravel road seemed inconsequential.
I'm sure that our frantic parade was quite a sight. It isn't everyday that you see a frazzled one legged woman and nine year old running at full sprint after a giggling, barefooted toddler. Hamlet was having a great time with his newly discovered game of chase, but neither Robby nor I were amused. Robby finally ended up throwing Timmy's shoes at him, hitting him on the back in an attempt to slow him down. My little Koopa's plan worked, and Timmy stopped to look at the shoe that just hit him. Robby was able to grab him before he continued running.
I was shaken for most of the day after our vineyard race. I couldn't help but ponder if I can't keep up with my 16 month old, what am I going to do when he is swifter and stronger? Keeping up with Timmy is a matter of safety and, in my opinion, is absolutely non-negotiable. I have to figure out a way to physically be able to run after him should he sprint away again. Sometimes being an amputee stinks, and this was one of those occasions!