Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ping pong injury proves a mother’s love


By the time this column runs, my nose will have completely healed and I will no longer need to apply extra natural beige makeup to the spot where my sunglasses so painful rested.  But I would be remiss if I did not at least get this story down in writing so that in years to come I can pull out a yellowed piece of newspaper and point at and say something like, “remember the stick?  And my nose?  How can you possibly think that I don’t love you?!??!”
Because it’s true:  I love my children very much.  I love them as much as my mother loved me when I said to her that I was going to slide down that muddy hill and she quickly scooped me up so I could ride down on her lap, thereby hitting every root and rock on the way down and bruising her legs so much that she wore long pants for a month. I have yet to live it down, because every so often I am reminded of the pain and humiliation she endured all because of some strange thing I did and how she saved me, blah blah blah.
But what I did for my youngest daughter should definitely be something that she never “blah blah blah’s” at because, above all, it’s a great story.
As a busy mom, I sit down approximately 2.7 seconds a day if you don’t count my car, doctor’s waiting rooms, bleachers, and other such luxuries.  After brilliantly whipping up something in a slow-cooker on a dreary day, I politely served all of my children before fixing my own plate.  I had just begun to sit when I asked if the outdoor toys had been put away because our dreary day had turned into a torrential downpour.  With not even a full second of relaxation, my son informed me that he had put away the bikes and balls, but that his sister’s stick was still lying in the driveway.  At this point, the blond curly-haired angelic cuddly usually semi-calm child burst into ultra-dramatic tears because, and I quote, “my Snakey!  It’s getting wet!  Save it, mommmmmmy!”
Reason does not work with a five-year-old, but in desperate times that doesn’t mean that we don’t try.
“It’s a stick.  From a tree.  It will dry,” I pleaded, just wanting to finally rest my body and eat dinner.  But actual salty tears were streaming from her face, so I hung my head and put down my fork and headed out the door into the stormy weather to retrieve a three-foot stick that apparently resembles a snake.
A horrible downpour, I sprinted out and grabbed the stick and raced into the garage where I placed Snakey safely out of the danger of vicious raindrops.  In just the few seconds out there, I was instantly drenched like a cat in a shower.  Stumbling across the floor, I wiped my eyes just long enough to impair my vision against the dangerous, yet playfully entertaining, Ping-Pong table that my son had retro-fitted into a single player game by folding up one side and making an instant ball return with every sled that we own.  (Don’t ask.  I just had to give creative details for effect.)
Without even knowing it, I plowed directly into the leg of the Ping-Pong table with the bridge of my nose, cursing through the thundering rain and hoping that it didn’t bruise.
Looking back, though, I’m kind of glad that it did, even though it was easily covered with an extra bit of make up.  For if it hadn’t been for Snakey’s valiant rescue, I would never be able to hold it over my daughter’s head in years to come, when reason overtook her once again and she thought for even one second that her mother didn’t love her.
And I have it as proof, in print.  Though if I was super lucky, it would have scarred, but I’m only a mother and I’ll take what I can get.


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