The first several times I took on the parenting job I failed and failed and failed. I was a highly proficient zygote killer. Every month I despised going to pee because it would inevitably lead to my pink slip. This lasted for over 6 years and it should have told me something about my career choice. Modestly, I claim the heavyweight title of slowest learner, accompanied by dogged determination.
After boy-girl twins were born, my job security wasn't guaranteed. A random, hideous event could reach in and swipe the slate clean! I obsessed.
No wack jobs as neighbors.
No rat poison within reach.
Climbing trees is forbidden.
This final decree lasted until the week after 9/11. Suddenly and irreparably I discovered it impossible to keep everyone safe from everything.
A shrieking wail is heard as I rip handfuls of hair from my scalp.
The twins were released from ground prison. Fresh out of the cage, they whooped and hollered and headed for trees like heat seeking missiles. Still on crutches after a knee surgery two weeks before, I hid my eyes in the house and prayed. Not really. Both kids were pretty short for their age and the trees in our yard were minus the required low limbs, (I’d had my husband take care of that before lifting the gate to freedom).
You can’t take the controlling bitch out all at once…it takes several washings.
Our son may have been height deprived but he is also smart as a whip. A half hour later I heard screams and pounding footsteps on the deck.
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommmmmmmmmy! Comeherehe’sstuckinthetree!”
Throwing the crutches aside, I hobble ran outside to face the terrible, awful, horrible sight. The boy hung upside down, tethered by one over-sized boot in the V of a crab apple tree. His back lay against the trunk, and he was suspended about 3 feet off the ground.
This rescue would take two good legs and the strength of a body builder. I had neither, thus I made do. Stumbling forward I grasped his waist to tether him so he wouldn't break his neck, while yelling for my daughter to call Dad at work. Surely I could hold him the two hours it would take my husband to arrive.
Yes I have delusional moments all the time.
I wasn't given the opportunity to test my abilities as a Mom Sandwich, because when my arms looped around, his foot slid out of the boot. In slow motion we fell backward, his feet wrapped around my throat and his face in my crotch. Windless and in shock, I lay still to assess the damage in pieces. A muffled voice came from my nether regions.
My daughter stood above me with the wise eyes of an old woman. She knew I hadn't rescued the little monkey. We just got damn lucky.
Lesson #1: It is impossible to assure nothing bad will ever happen.
I should have read the fine print.
Parenting is a wonderfully hideous endeavor that is best served when I remember that random shit happens…all the time. The twins are now 20 and have headed off to college to learn for themselves that I can’t protect them from everything and neither can they. It is a big wild world that is filled with change and trees and beasties that go bump in the night. Wake up and enjoy the mayhem.