I sprinted the 100-yard dash in under 2 seconds, yesterday. Or, at least it felt like it. Forget Katniss Everdeen protecting her sister in The Hunger Games. Try putting a mother who is running to her offspring into the mix and you’d have a real fight on your hands. Her child would be savoring the victory dinner, while she takes a nap.
She’d pull the pin, drop the grenade and be the cool chick walking away with a rifle over one shoulder and her child over the other. She’d be the one wrapping her child in a wet towel and running straight into fire to release them from a burning building. She’d be the one saying, “Take me! Let her go!” regardless of how tough or terrible the bad guys. Mothers are the greatest heroines.
Okay, I didn’t really fall into this class yesterday, because there was no grenade, burning building or bad guy, but it felt like one of those moments. I was at the park for the Tuesday Social Club, a weekly playdate with my friends and their kids.
The kids had run ahead to the swings. I was chatting about The Bachelor: Men Tell All episode from the night before (You know, serious and worldly topics) and tiptoeing through the grass, trying to assure that the bees flying around the floral weeds wouldn’t sting me. One of my friends let out a loud scream and it was saying my baby’s name.
I looked up to see my daughter being struck by a swing with an older girl in it, flying in the air for what seemed like 10 feet and landing on her side like a sleeping puppy. I have only jogged in the past few years. I ran so hard that my arms were pumping over my head and my feet were almost kicking my butt.
All I could hear was the wind passing by me. When I reached Babyface, she looked dazed and confused. She hadn’t reached the point of crying yet, but I could see her face changing expressions. I threw her lunch box to the side, picked her up, hugged her tight and whipped her to a safe zone, away from the girl on the moving swing. I was her terrified savior in a surreal state.
Her mouth was bleeding and she looked terrified. Not as terrified as on the dinosaurs ride, but close. Tears were falling off of her chin and hitting my arm. My friend handed me the ice pack from her lunch bag and I placed it on my baby’s lip. I asked her, “Do you want to go home?”
Let me preface by saying that my daughter never wants to leave the park. She would live there, if she could. We go through weekly tantrums, where I pretend I’ll just leave her there. “Yes!” she replied, in-between sniffles. “I want to go home.”
Wow, this fall must’ve been a doozy, I thought. When we got home, I iced her wounds and covered her in unnecessary Band-Aids to make her feel better. We cuddled on the couch with popsicles, while I let her watch an episode of Sesame Street in the afternoon. When I asked her if she wanted Cuckoo, her favorite crocodile puppet that she carries around everywhere, she said, “no. I only want my mommy.”
She looked at me like I was her savior. I’m not sure if she saw me as a hero or if it was all of the afternoon treats I showered her with. I’m pretty sure it was the latter, but I’ll pretend it was the sprint-and-save.
Later that day, I called my husband to tell him about the horrifying incident. I figured he would want to know his baby was badly shaken up and covered in bruises. Of course, he didn’t respond as I had expected. His reply was “Oh, you had me scared for a minute. She’ll just have to learn not to run in front of swings. Is that it?”
While I was still recovering from my near hyperventilation and borderline hysteria, he was thinking “oh well, she won’t do it again.” That’s the difference between my husband and me. He sees a lesson learned and I see a life-changing event. Go figure.
This reminds me of my dad. Whenever someone gets hurt, he says, “We never had first aid in India. If you fell and got a cut, you would just put a little dirt on it.”