slippery moments

January 17, 2010 at 4:58 pm 2 comments

Today was one of those Sundays, the kind that happen every other week at our house. Nathan drives Bella to her other house, three hours away, and Xi goes to her other house ( I told you it was a modern family), and after a weekend filled to brimming with chaotic play, the house is nearly empty. There are other days in which Echo and I are alone and we do just fine, but there is something about the contrast on these Sundays. As the family van pulls away I’m always at a loss of what to do.

So today, partly in an attempt to coax Echo along for a dog walk, I decided to seek a bit of adventure. We made our way to the nearest mountain and climbed it. The day was misty and cold but the further we climbed the sunnier it got until we were looking down on an ocean of clouds below us. It was beautiful.

But on the way up, it was slippery. So icy and slippery that I was pretty scared. With Echo strapped to my back I was torn between reassuring her about our predicament, and being honest. Finally we were in such a dicey spot – sliding backward on my knees – that I said:

I feel nervous.

And she said: It’s okay Mama. I’ll help you up.

Let’s remember that Echo was strapped to my back with no leverage or footing to speak of. But she wrapped her fleece covered arms around my shoulders and squeezed and grunted. I was scared and saw no other option, so I believed her. I put my courage in her squeezing arms and willed my feet, though working against pure slickness, to hold our weight and move forward.

They did.

She was not surprised of course. But I was. On the way back down, as we hit the slippery parts again, I began to go back over what had happened, remembering how impossibly slippery it was and how Echo’s intention made the difference, when, I slipped. Hard. We crashed, slid, and slid some more.

We are fine, just a little muddy and cold. Echo, of course, stayed high and dry because Mamas always take the brunt and spare the baby don’t they? But it was a perfect reminder to stay present. When sliding down a mountain, it is more helpful to stay present with the current slipperiness than to remember past moments of slipping. Echo’s intent and my belief in her intent saved us because I was fully experiencing it. It doesn’t work as well to ignore the experience occurring now in order to relive the similar, but non-occurring, experience of a moment ago.

I know there is a life lesson in here somewhere but I’m afraid if I go looking for it I will miss even more of what’s happening right now. Right now we are home, bathed, and cozy. Even Henry Dog got a shower. The house is still emptier feeling than this morning but I think I’ll just live this experience, enjoy the chaotic play of one child now instead of fighting the transition away from what came before.

Oops, I think I found the lesson anyway.


Entry filed under: life lessons. Tags: , , , , .

pocket sized self saved

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hilaree  |  January 18, 2010 at 6:31 am

    i love that she was grunting while she helped you… that brought tears to my eyes and i laughed out loud

  • 2. kris  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    oh man. beautiful. your words and the view.i’m so happy you found your way into sunshine. and that you share it with us.


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