Like any other school morning I was walking my three-year-old down the back steps of our house. It rained the night before and the five wooden steps were wet with pooled water. I was wearing shoes with good tread on the soles, but lo and behold they did me no good that morning. One step out of the door and my feet shot out from under me.
As I sailed down the steps flat on my back, feet in the air, all I could think of was pushing my toddler out of my path. I heard her scream as I felt what seemed to me to be my body taking flight. With every crack of a step’s edge across my back, an audible “umph” was forced out of my mouth. The wind was being knocked out of me one step at a time.
By the time my feet hit the mud at the bottom of the steps, the force pitched me over to the right, landing me square on my head in the soft dirt soup of the flowerbed. Of course, it would be nice to say that I narrowly missed the two concrete forms I had next to the steps in anticipation of making a pseudo-cobblestone walkway, but I cannot. I clipped those on my way down.
I felt the top right side of my head plant itself firmly in the goop, as my right shoulder made a slushy thump, and my right knee hit a bucket. Flashing through my mind was the thought that I should have moved my walkway-making things to the garden shed. I had considered it the day before but decided against it, which, as of that moment I greatly regretted. As I lay there in a bit of shock that I had no bones protruding from my body, I cleared my head. And then I started to laugh.
I saw, in my mind’s eye, the whole thing play-out perfectly. My overweight, grandma-aged self, bad knees and all, did what my child later referred to as a “messed up cartwheel”. I wished right then that I had a YouTube channel. My way of later sporting a banged up and bruised body could have been a viral video. Maybe later. The fact that we were then late for school prompted me to hop up, briefly survey the damage, and hustle my daughter into the car. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of our hobby farm animals. The goats looked at me indifferently, but that pig…she looked as though she believed watching me sail down the steps and wallow in a mud hole made us soul sisters. I honestly believe she was gloating.
Credit: Alamay Stock Photos UK
Off I drove to deliver my child, mud caked in my hair, my clothes and face a muddy mess. That was a sight for the teachers in the car line, I’m sure. As I looked at one particular teacher’s expression as she stared at me, I decided that at least my daughter would have something to say in class when the teacher asked what they did over the weekend. Monday mornings technically don’t qualify as the weekend, but I’m 99% sure my kid would consider it so. Once she gets over the spectacle of seeing me bite the proverbial dust, and I get over being sore from head to toe, we should be able to have a good laugh. I hope she’ll one day appreciate the things parents go through to keep their kiddos entertained.