On my wedding day in 2002, standing in front of 172 of our closest friends and family, my father made a toast. Never much of a sentimentalist, my Dad welcomed Husband to the family and then gave him a live quiz on our family’s completely made up vernacular (See post here for reference. ”Swooper” is one such word.). Anyway, the toast was a hit, I guess. People laughed. Husband seemed to have fun. But, one of the things that stands out to me most about that toast is one little sentence my Dad used when leading into his quiz.
He said “…the bride used to be quite athletic.”
And, while it was certainly a little back-handed of him to put it like that, the truth is he was accurate. I did. I used to be very athletic. I played three varsity sports in high school and was captain of two. I continued with one of those sports (albeit briefly) at the college level. And, when not competing in a sport I was always agile. I could catch a ball on the fly, run a decent sprint and had at least a semblance of easy grace. I had good hand-eye coordination and my body, while not a temple by any means (ever), was fully under my control.
But, not anymore.
And, while I know I could blame at least some of my lack of grace today on weight gain post-kids, the fact is my Dad was right way back then. I lost that fluid control of myself at least a few years prior to childbirth.
And now I’m sort of…well, I’m sort of a klutz.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my friend from Montana just came and stayed for a night. And I’m not kidding you when I tell you that in the first 3 seconds of her arrival, I reminded her of exactly how much of a klutz I have become. You know. In case she’d forgotten.
In case she’d forgotten the time I visited her in Montana in 1998 or so and we went for an awesome hike up who knows what mountain. It was absolutely beautiful at the top and, in celebration of our climb, there was a little alcohol (and maybe something else) passed around before we started our “descent.” I turned it down, reminding her that if I dared do anything like that I would surely wind up falling down the mountain. I adamantly declined any mind altering substances.
And, then I proceeded to fall right down the mountain anyway.
I limped for the remainder of my three days in Montana.
Or, in case she’d forgotten that I fell down our basement stairs when Big Brother was about five weeks old. Just when I was coming out of the fog that was postpartum depression, I wound up with a broken foot, cast, crutches and a warning from my doctor not to, under any circumstances, put weight on my foot for the next THREE weeks. Awesome. ’Cause that’s really easy to deal with when you have a new baby and a husband that works all day.
Or, in case she’d forgotten last summer, when I was in Vermont and decided to take the boys to a playground. Somehow, as the kids played happily, I rolled my ankle on a wooden walkway and basically had to lie in a heap on the playground grass while I waited for my Mom to finish grocery shopping and, eventually, come to the playground to meet up with us.
That was fun.
So, it’s Sunday night. And my best friend is coming to visit with her husband and baby boy. And, I’m so excited. I’ve had chili simmering on the stove for hours. We have a fire in the fireplace. Wine and beer all stocked in the fridge. I vacuumed (probably the most momentous task of all). It’s about 6 pm and it’s dark. They arrive and I rush out of the house to greet them.
During the day, the brick stairs (as you look from our driveway to our house) look like this.
Standing from the top of the stairs looking down towards the driveway, they look like this.
But, at 6 pm at night in New England? For a woman as prone to accidents as I am?
Those stairs might as well have looked like this.
So, as I shout my friendly greetings and welcome them to my home…down I go. Head over heels. Ass over teakettle. Legs and arms akimbo.
And, next thing I know I’m in the driveway peering up at the underside of their rented Prius.
Very, very smooth.
So, here I sit today with my swollen right ankle, my sore left knee and my bruised and battered left arm.
But, the best part is that you know what I remember most about that whole dumb experience? The part I most remember is that she totally laughed at me! She laughed! And, kind of hard. I mean, she paused (I think) to make sure I wasn’t dead under her car but basically having just watched her friend of 38 years fall straight down her front steps in the first five seconds we saw each other? Well, she found it very funny. And very, very typical.
Guess she hadn’t forgotten.
She knows me well, that girl.
I miss her already.