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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mom, do you know how to slow-dance?

Most people who know me know that I have a son with genetic bone disorder known as "Osteogenesis Imperfecta", better known as brittle bone disease.  Most know that since elementary school, he has been using a walker, and throughout junior high and high school, a wheelchair, as walking was just too painful.

Last year, while at a swim meet, while warming up for the breast stroke, he kicked another swimmer accidentally that was following him too closely.  This resulted in one of the worst fractures he had ever sustained.  The leg had the appearance of having a second knee.  And because he was 17, he considered it his God-given right to yell any and all four-letter expletives that he had in his vocabulary.

Looking at his leg, who could blame him?

He had to be extracted from the pool by EMT's and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance (second time in an ambulance, first time without me or his father).

The result of this experience was him having a steel rod shoved into his leg by one of the finest doctors I have ever known, and who actually patented the technique for this particular surgery.  Considering the damage to my son's leg, the scarring was minimal.  Thank God.

No sooner than being released from doctor's care approximately three months later did he insist on booking surgery for the other leg.

My husband and I both looked at each other, wondering why.  Why would anyone care to endure this amount of pain all over again?

My son put it simply, and for us it was a reality check.  "Because I want to get around like everybody else."

Who could fault him that?

This surgery was a bit more difficult than the other one.  His leg was severely bowed, and a piece of bone had to be notched away before the rod could be inserted.  It proved to be just as painful.

He was stoic about it, though.  After a day in the hospital, he refused the morphine and insisted to be released.

Taking only minimal pain medication, he forged through and made a remarkable recovery.

The first thing he noticed when he was able to stand on both legs for the first time was that he was taller, by better than an inch.  The next thing that he noticed was that when he was standing, that his legs were straight, and didn't bow out (he had never in his life been able to stand with his ankles together).

He walks just about everywhere now.  It hurts his back some because of the scoliosis, so he still uses the wheelchair from time to time.

Fast-forward to this past Saturday afternoon:  He's getting ready for a dance.  He'd went out and got a nice haircut, took a shower, shaved, put on cologne - the normal stuff a young man does to get ready.

He yells at me from his room, "Mom, can I ask you something?"

"Yeah, buddy.  What do you need?" I ask him as I'm walking in.

"Mom, do you know how to slow-dance?"

In all of his 18 years, I never thought I would ever hear this.  It's nothing I expected.  And it pulled at my heart-string just a little bit.

In reality, I know that thousands of moms or dads are asked this by their sons or daughters every prom season.

And although it's not his first dance, it's the first time he's danced with his new legs.