other day I was on Skype with my daughter and her two little boys. I
love technology. It allows me to visit Rebekah and my grandsons in a
way that still confounds and astonishes me. I love being able to see
them. However, with that comes a dose of reality that might be lost
over the phone or in letters. I get to see my
grandson Lemmy pull the cat’s tail, leap from the couch while barely
missing his little brother’s noggin. I get to see little Cedar rip off
his diaper and dump the contents on the floor while his mama is busy
chatting with me. Ah yes, those were the days. Like so many other
mothers, I survived my kids’ toddlerhood.
After our Skype session, I
thought back on Rebekah’s wonder years. A couple of incidents can only
be seen as a page out of Life Is Stranger than Fiction.
I was about five months pregnant
with Emily when we were in a head-on collision on a snowy road. My
husband tried to be the hero. Seeing the yellow car careening toward
us, he said that he was going to steer into the snow bank, hoping that
the yellow car would hit him and not me. Well, he walked away
unscathed. Rebekah was fine; she had small lump on her head. I, on the
other hand, had a badly broken ankle, a fractured pelvis, and
miscellaneous cuts and bruises. Did I mention I was also five months
pregnant? Anyhoo, the breaks were serious enough to put me to bed for
three months. I was unable to put any weight on the ankle, and so I
pretty much lay in bed and watched my body grow. It was not a good
thing to see.
Then one day the heavens parted,
the sun shone, and I was told I could put weight on the ankle, so I
started daily journeys from my bed to the living room. Now this was a
sight to be seen. I pretty much had to hurl my huge body across the
floor with the aid of a walker. No, we didn’t put tennis balls on the
feet. Getting down the steps was an ordeal. I usually threw the walker
down with a mighty and somehow satisfying clang and then lowered my
body to the floor with all the skill of a piano mover. I then scooted
down step by step by step on my behind. Yes, it was kind of like
watching a rhino getting herded into a truck.
About two weeks before Emily was
born, I had gotten pretty good at maneuvering around the house—still no
driving, but I so enjoyed my new freedom. Well, there I was sitting on
the sofa, probably eating something unhealthy, when my then
three-year-old daughter hollered from upstairs. “Mommy, it’s in the
bathroom. Come see.”
My curiosity and concern were
piqued enough for me to make the journey back up the steps. I mean
anything a three-year-old does in the bathroom is either cause for
alarm or amusement. Step by step I ascended the stairs on my rump until
I reached Rebekah, who was sitting near the bathroom door. She looked
so proud and yet mischievous. It is this kind of expression where we
got the phrase about the cat eating the canary.
is it, honey?” I asked through clenched teeth.
“Look.” She smiled wider than
had taken an entire
super-large package of maxi pads (I hadn’t thought much about them for
a few months), removed the backing, and stuck them all over the
bathroom. They were on the floor, the bathtub, the toilet and sink, the
walls. She stuck a pad wherever she could and then proceeded to dump
the sticky backing into the toilet. What could I do? I sat there and
hugged Rebekah. “Did you do this for me?”
How sweet. I think she might
have heard me tell my husband that I was ready for a padded room
earlier that morning.
Be careful what you wish for.
Oh, BTW, it would have all been
nice except she flushed the toilet and flooded the bathroom. Not the
best thing to experience when you are eight and half months pregnant,
in a cast up to your knee, and still nursing a broken pelvis.
But, hey, I’m a writer. A year
or so later I wrote about this for a parenting magazine and made a
$150. So there you go, grist for the mill comes in many sizes. Some
days are light days and others are heavy days.
Prayers of Agnes
Sparrow has been selected as one of the top five Christian
Inspirational titles of 2009 by Library Journal.