Wednesday, August 5, 2009


First of all, let me start by saying that I am wearing the most adorable pair of black platform sandals ever. They are very comfortable and light and easy to walk in... normally... Yes, the heel is 3 1/2 inches tall, but the platform is 1 1/2 inches, so the heel height is only 2 inches. I was tap dancing in two-inch heels when I was 10, so this heel height is a height that I am very comfortable wearing.

Why do I need to justify my shoes? I need to explain why I shouldn't win the "Worst Mother of the Year" award. Or maybe I should win the "Klutziest Mother of the Year."

The day actually started quite nicely. I wasn't jostled from bed too early by the whines of a dog needing to go out and hadn't been awakened overnight by my lovely children, darling husband, or faithful hounds. Everyone woke in good moods and cooperated during the morning scramble -- this isn't something that I take for granted.

And then I got to the sitters. As per my usual routine, I opened Milo's door and unbuckled him from his car seat. He normally climbs out and shuts his door while I round the back of the car and unbuckle Violet. She's been in a very independent stage and this morning, she was insisted that she could buckle herself back into the seat. I gently explained that we were going to go inside to play at the sitter's and she relented, allowing me to slide her out of her seat.

Then I stepped back to close the car door and I realized that Milo had followed me around the car instead of climbing the porch steps and making his way to the door as he usually does. I knew this because as I stepped back from my car, I stepped onto his foot. Startled, I immediately shifted my weight back to the other foot and attempted to put the errant foot down a bit more behind me and not on his toes.

When I set my foot down, I don't know if I set it down in a divot or on a stick or what, but it didn't connect with the pavement the way I expected. For a moment, I held my balance, then my ankle wobbled and I rocked over the outside of my sandal. I fought to get my foot on solid ground, but lost the battle and tumbled to the unforgiving driveway. Violet, who had been on my hip, was dislodged during the impact and she sailed out of my grasp, landing with a thud on her diaper-padded bum.

The look of confusion on her little face compelled me to scramble back to my feet. Her eyes welled and she screamed in shock and, I think, pain. I scooped her up and held her close, but she continued to shriek. Worried, I made my way to the sitter's porch and into the house where I sat her down gently on the foyer steps and quickly combed her body for scrapes, cuts, bruises -- any indication that I had hurt her badly. I found nothing and she quieted in less than a minute, tears caught on her cheeks.

Thinking back, she likely only flew out of my arms as I connected with the cement, and though she traveled three feet away from me, she probably only went down eighteen inches or so. She didn't skid and I didn't sit on her, she didn't hit her head or try to catch herself with her hands, so I do believe that her bottom took most of the impact. But I still feel beyond terrible about it.

As for me? I was overwhelmed by adrenaline immediately after the fall and continued to be as I bid the now-calm children goodbye and returned home to change my clothes. I think that I might have bruised my left palm, but my ankle, knee, and back all seem fine. I can take a fall -- I've had enough practice in Aikido and figure skating to know that my fall was a "good" fall and that even though I'm fat and hit the deck hard, I rolled onto my back after impact and the motion dispersed a lot of the force with which I landed (and showed the neighborhood my undies). I get the physics of it. But I am still wrapped in guilt. I know that accidents happen and that no one was seriously -- or even minorly -- hurt.

I was so shaken by this, that after I returned home I stopped at the local grocery store. I dreamt last night that I was eating Ding Dongs and gave in to the craving this morning. It's fitting: a Ding Dong for a ding-dong... Yep, that's my prize for ringing my clock this morning.

p.s. I'm still wearing the shoes.

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