Monday, September 9, 2013

Wipe Out

Last Thursday, when I was escorting Graham into preschool, his backpack and my day care child in my arms and trusting Graham to walk calmly beside me, he tripped and fell.  His feet became tangled over a leaf or a shadow or quite possibly, nothing, and he went down faster than the stock market, managing to not only bounce but skid across one square of sidewalk and into a mulch bed outside the building.

I probably should have been concerned, but other than feeling a little bit of guilt from knowing that, if I'd been holding his hand, I could have prevented the splat, I just waited patiently for him to extract himself from the bedding plants and brush himself off.  Because when you are three (almost four), falling is a way of life.

My kids fall constantly.  Most are little trips, ala Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars, but sometimes they are grandiose, skier-down-the-mountainside wipe-outs that leave me cringing and readying myself to call 911.  But miraculously, they get back up every single time, if for no other reason than to save that emergency call for some future and much more embarrassing opportunity, like when they accidentally Gorilla Glue their hands to their armpits or get a tiny plastic soldier lodged... somewhere.

I knew there was a reason we bought that search and rescue tank.

They are so used to falling, whether accidental or during play, that there is no reaction when it happens.  But what would life be like if I was the one wiping out at every turn?

First of all, it wouldn't be graceful.  I'm too tall and too heavy to defy gravity like my boys.  I wouldn't trip over my own feet, though, either.  I'd probably catch the toe of my shoe on a Matchbox car or a petrified cat hairball that had gone undetected, and after a few brief seconds of arms flailing that would probably unearth a great deal of dust and still not prevent my downward journey, hurdle toward the ground, held there by my own embarrassment and the weight of my unused degree.

I might break something.  And I might even secretly enjoy the excuse not to carry around a fifty pound five year-old like a sack of flour.

So for now, in this one socially acceptable way, I'll be glad it's them and not me. 

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.