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Monday, April 24, 2006

Life In The Fast Lane

This weekend seemed to revolve around my boy. I guess when you're 13, the world is your stage and he was just performing for all who would watch. Let me tell you, all eyes were on him.

He had a track meet Saturday. This was the first time Mr. Lane was able to attend. It was so cool watching my husband's face while our son took his mark and was being cheered on by all of the other parents and, of course, all of the girls. I think I heard Mr. Lane chuckle over the sound of them screaming, "Go Lane!"

At the finish line in each event, Lane 1 was met by screaming teammates, high-fives and hugs. Two proud parents and a reluctantly proud sister cheered from the stands.

He. Qualified. For. State!

I'm proud of my kid. Not just for qualifying, everything about him makes me proud. Sappy mom that I am felt a lump swell in my throat during his last lap toward the finish line. Although I was watching him closely, my mind was wandering. I thought about all of the great things I love about that kid, how he has improved his grades and his attitude, how he helps around the house, how he tries his hardest all of the time, the way he comforts his sister when she is sad, how he annoys her when she is happy, how he always makes me laugh, how he comes to the aid of a classmate being harassed by another and his overall awesome personality.

Halfway through the meet, I headed down the bleachers in an attempt to get an unobstructed picture of my boy and his teammates. I fell down the stairs. Legs completely dead, I landed hard on my knees and bounced down a few steps. Normally my first reaction would be to laugh it off but I was feeling terribly emotional, plus it hurt like hell.

After a split second of silence, I heard my old man laugh, then my daughter, followed by the crowd.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Lane 1 rushing toward me, "Dude! Ma! Are you okay?" He offered his hand to help me up. The laughing continued.

Bruised knees and ego, I said, "I'm fine buddy. Thanks." As I took his hand, and forced a smile, I felt like I wanted to cry.

Typically, I would just give my husband a dirty look or quietly let him know I thought he was out of line. Instead of saying nothing or shooting daggers at him, I returned to my seat and said, loud enough for others who laughed to hear, "It's hysterical when someone with multiple sclerosis falls down the stairs. What a gimp I am." I threw in some fake laughter to make my point.

Suddenly, no one was looking at me anymore, not even my husband. I could tell those words hurt him and I didn't really care. I felt so much more sensitive than I ever would about something like that, which yippy fucking skippy is another symptom of MS.

Although my legs have come out from under me plenty of times in the eight years since my diagnosis, it was the first time I truly felt my handicap and I think my husband might have noticed.

We were both hurt and embarrassed and decided not to talk about it or maybe pretend that it didn't happen.

To break the awkwardness of the afternoon and not ruin the otherwise perfect day, as we walked a half of a mile back to the car, I said, "I wonder how many more tumbles I have to take before I can get official gimp plates so we can park closer."

Their three heads spun quickly in my direction and they busted out laughing when they saw my smile.

The teenager said, "See that Dad? You're learning. First you look to see if Mom is smiling before you bust out laughing. Slowly, you are learning. Hey Ma? You think after you get your gimp plates, we can get a short bus for dad?"

Just one more reason why I love that kid, which is why I'll tell you more about his weekend tomorrow.