Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Which We Take The Air

So today Jer, Connor and I went out for a walk (or wheel, depending on who you're talking about) around the apartment complex. We'll hopefully be picking up the van some time at the end of next week, but Jer is very ready to be out and about, so off we went. In the process, I made a couple of discoveries.

The first is that we no longer can just go out for a walk. We look more like a small procession-- all we need are some fancy hats and maybe a couple of camels or something. If I push Connor next to Jeremy, we take up about half of the street. Walking next to each other on the sidewalk is a no-go as it's nowhere close to wide enough, but even single file we take up the whole walk. Also because Jer is using his arms for propulsion and his wheelchair currently has the crappy indoor wheels with no traction (desperately hoping his physical therapist will order the nicer outdoor ones when he sees her), we move at sort of a sauntering pace. Impatient people in grocery stores are going to love us.

The second discovery is going to take a little more getting used to. I thought we attracted a lot of attention with just Connor in a wheelchair. I was wrong. Now when we go by a group of people, all conversation skids to a halt, people lose all pretense of minding their own business and flat-out stare at us. I'm wondering if we'll be able to get through a single day in which we go out in public during the next year without someone asking about the circumstances surrounding why there are two people in our family in wheelchairs. This is probably going to get old really, really fast. We didn't experience this phenomenon in the hospital because in hospitals, well, everyone has something going on so people don't really take any notice. You'd think I'd be used to it by now with Connor, but this takes things to a whole new level. And Jer's not exactly one for being the center of attention.

Since we'll probably be asked the "what happened" question at least fifteen times a day once we have the van and are out and about, I think we need to come up with some creative answers that we can use once we're tired of telling the truth. "Trampled by a rabid hippopotamus," is one I've come up with. Then there's "failed to outrun a grizzly bear" and "freak dueling Segway accident." Now's your chance, dear readers, to give us some more creative answers so we can avoid smacking the twenty-seventh person in Fred Meyer who asks us that question while we're trying to buy fish at the deli.

So what happened?

~Jess

14 comments:

Kristin said...

There is of course the serious option of Jeremy wearing a sign around his neck that says, "I'm in the Army. You're welcome." If he's not up for that, I say take things to the next level and get yourself a wheelchair. No sense in being odd man out! :)

I'd imagine that living in a town as progressive as Puyallup, the locals will get over it quickly. But just in case, hopefully someone else will come up with something witty.

Kierstyn said...

Hmmmm......

There's always the classic: You should see the other guy.

Whatever you decide, make signs and put it on the back of the boys' chairs. Then all you have to do is point!

You know, I decorated a wheel chair for a wedding once. You could have some fun with this, in more ways that just the sign! :-)

Way to keep your spirits up! I'm still praying for you guys.

psychologizer said...

I definitely agree with Kristin. You need a wheelchair as well. And when people ask you how it happened you can say that God gave you the job of warning the secular world about the dangers of inbreeding. Or there's always the old standby, morbid obesity. The look on people's face if you claimed that would be priceless!

Lin said...

Two simple words (although you may have better words than I): "Army and Genetics" And if you are feeling spicy you can add "And I'm so tired I don't remember which one had which". Then you smile and walk away.
Or roll away. :)

Niksmom said...

Or you could have a shirt made for Jer that reads, "I went to Afghanistan and all I got was this crappy T-shirt" (in a parody of those "My grandma went to DisneyLand..." shirts)?

But I do really like Kristin's suggestion.

Or, "Our family circus act fell off the trapeze and the net failed."

leah said...

You could say, "Oh, we just like to cut through the theme park lines." Or "banana peels- they're not funny anymore."

Or turn the tables and say, "We're fine- what happened to YOU?" Then maybe in a panic of self-consciousness, they'll disappear.

Julia O'C said...

How about some business cards with just your blog address on them? You could hand over the card and say, "You can read all about it RIGHT HERE!" Then smile sweetly and walk away.

Or maybe you could just whisper, "Shhhh!! They don't know they're in wheelchairs!!"

therextras said...

Voting for Julia O'C's comment as most practical and best humor. Although your answers are more than worthy if they help you.

Saying the Army caused Jer's injury is just wrong. Ask him if he likes that answer.

Jer's injury was caused by an evil enemy while he was defending us against ee. Thanks for your service and sacrifice, Jer.

Barbara

Helene said...

I can't outdo Kristin.

MFA Mama said...

I think you should just give Jer a withering look and say "oh that was the LAST TIME I left them alone together!"

Tom said...

To (sort of) quote princess bride:

"Oh no. It's just wheelchairs are terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be using them in the future."

Kristin said...

I like Tom's Princess Bride idea!!!
Sarcasm is awesome. :)

Mia said...

I like the third wheelchair idea. Then there's passing at the card AND telling others that they don't know they're in wheelchairs. I don't know that I could come up with any better...

xraevision said...

I've got nothing, but your readers have the BEST sense of humor!!!

 
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