Friday, December 02, 2005

memories nudged...of babies and snow

It's funny sometimes the things one remembers from their past. And what triggers that memory.

In a previous post, I wrote about 'strapping' my 3 month old to my front, grabbing bookbag and diaper bag, and heading for the bus. And just now I caught a photo tgirltopping posted of someone mid-slip-and-fall in snow and ice. And suddenly, one particular morning years ago filtered into my consciousness. And I'm not being sad or maudlin here. In retrospect, I have to laugh. I survived, after all.

I remember one winter morning. My first semester at college. I was 30, the rugrat 5 months old. A particularly bad winter morning it was, with lots of very slippery ice. Everything was icy, in fact, except for the deep snow drifts. Walking was perilous at best. 8 AM, weekday morning. I have the rugrat strapped to my front with one of those over one shoulder slings that tend to be used by mothers in third world countries. I swear by those, by the way. They are ideal, and you can carry a kid hands free from infancy to toddlerhood.

So, baby, and two bags. And flat boots on ice with no traction. I slipped and slid the entire 5 blocks to the bus stop from our apartment. Getting more and more exhausted with the effort of staying upright. Because, what if I fell forward? On the baby?

I fell several times, always managing to twist my body so that I fell to one side, or backwards. But once...ah, once. I fell forward. I just couldn't stop myself. I dropped bags as I fell, and tried to double my body up to cushion the impact as much as possible. And, other than a little whine, the rugrat was miraculously fine.

By the time I reached the bus stop, I'd missed the bus. Which meant I'd missed my first class. And I hated missing class. It meant missing lecture, and I was so new that if I missed lecture, I felt completely lost. I was exhausted by the time I climbed on the next bus. And frozen. And as close to tears as I've ever been. Even got teary-eyed, believe it or not. The one who never cries out loud. People got on and off the bus, saw me, and you could tell they saw something in me. Something forlorn and lost. You could see it in the sympathetic glances.

I also remember the major body aches, the bruises that lasted for days. I might as well have been beat, lol! I did indulge in a long, hot bubble bath when I got home later. I remember I used to wonder if it would ever end. The sheer exhaustion. I don't know if I really thought it would. I never looked much to the future. Just hunkered down and dealt with it. Took a sort of one-day-at-a-time approach, and muddled through.

But I made it through that day, and through every day since, successfully. And I have no doubts I'll make it through the rest. It's just so funny what little tidbits of memories come into your mind sometimes.

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