When I was a child, my mother often warned me of the perils of the world: conversion vans with mini-blinds (ALL bad guys drive those), stray dogs with frothing mouths and missing patches of hair and Halloween candy chocked full of razor blades. But, most importantly, I’ll never forget that Mama always said that rain, flip flops and slick concrete was a recipe for disaster.
As the rain violently plummeted down today, I noticed that I’d carelessly left the garage door opened on my husband’s shop. The rain was blowing inside and drenching all of his “super important” stuff. God forbid that all of his toys and tools get wet and rusted.
I remembered what Mama always said, but I scurried across the driveway in the cheap $1.00 rubber flip flops that I scored at a gas station last year, and I knew that I was flirting with disaster. But as I successfully ran without falling in the hammering rain, I began to feel invincible, like I was dodging fiery darts or something.
I made it to the shop, but when tried to slow down, the cheap flop hit the slick garage floor and I slid.
No, slid isn’t the correct word.
I dropped like King Kong on roller skates.
I’m 5’11, and I have very long lanky legs and arms. Those long lanky things sprawled across the garage floor like octopus appendages- coming in contact with shovels and air compressors and lawn chairs and my husband’s 1971 Ford Bronco.
As I was lying on the garage floor, breath painfully escaped my body and I expected to see my life flash before my eyes. I was also curious to know if a deceased Lhasa Apso named Peaches had played as large of a role in my life as I like to think she did.
My ribs ached, blood poured from my leg, and a huge blue knot the size of a genetically modified grapefruit had already popped up on my forearm. I tried to push myself up as the rain still blew inside the opened garage door and soaked me to the bone, but I just couldn’t do it.
My son was inside the house napping and my daughter was at a neighbor’s house, so I had no one to help lift me or tend to my wounds. I looked like a newborn colt wobbling around, but I somehow made it onto my knees, slid around on the slick floor again, and I finally pulled myself into an erect, homosapien-like position.
I’m sure the whole debacle looked extremely embarrassing and somewhat humorous.
I closed the stupid garage door and limped through the rain to the house. I plopped onto the bathroom stool where I bandaged my broken body and pouted at my bruised ego.
As I poked at all of the knots welling up on my body and doused myself in BioFreeze and Neosporin, I thought about all of the times my children have fallen. Those kids fall on a near daily basis. They cry as I give them kisses and hugs and bandage their boo-boos and then I nonchalantly tell them to walk it off.
“You’re fine. Go play,” I always say.
But if someone had told me that after my spill today, I think I would have punched them in the face.
I wasn’t fine and playing was the last thing on my mind.
I was reminded today that falling is a terribly traumatic thing. Not only does it hurt, but it scares the living crap out of you. I mean, no one likes lying on a wet floor with one bleeding leg caught horizontally on a workhorse.
Next time my kids crash the bike into the holly bush or take a tumble on the driveway, I’ll be more compassionate. I’ll cover them in twice as many kisses and let them play the Wii for as long as they want while they recuperate both physically and mentally.
And I’ll remind them daily (even on sunny wintery days) that flip flops and rain don’t mix.