My tired muscles ached to get moving, after building the snow fort yesterday….though another promise was to be fulfilled. Ten cups of cofee and six Ibuprofen later, I found myself staring at the new obstacle before me. I wondered if I had the strength to join in, or if I would choose to sit on the sideline like so many others. I knew one thing for sure….I was at least going to try.
As I slowly made my way up the seemingly mile long hill, my eyes and ears were open, and taking in everything around me. At first, all I could hear were children screaming, but it wasnt long before my senses were filled with so much more.
What used to be grass, was now covered with snow….and mostly ice. Large divots had been made on the downslant, making the path look as though it had rolling hills, all the way down. The more I looked at that hill, the more trecherous it seemed. Once I made my way to the top, I found myself pacing from one side of the hill to the other. How would I get down from here?
My children seemed up for the task. They passed by me several times, before I could even decide what to do. There were others there too…..others like me who were hesitant.
I watched as children fell, rolled, cracked their heads, hit their teeth, and had each of their extremities bent in different directions. Each time, I expected to have to scream out “Watch out everyone…Im a nurse”, as I made my way down the hill, taking my shirt off in the process, in case I needed to use it as a tourniquet for a severed arm or foot. Fortunately, this never happened, because each time they fell, the kids bounced right back up……AND no matter how hard they hit, they were smiling and laughing, even if blood was dripping down thier cheek!
While I did wonder how these little beings were so limber and unafraid of this hill, I admit, that by seeing their mostly unharmed bodies going down that hill, I gained the confidence to try it for the first time this year. There were obvious limitations however….. I would steer clear of every “ramp” or tiny hill.
The first time down wasn't too bad. I had talked my daughter into getting on with me, so that I would feel safe knowing I would have something to brace my fall…(I didnt tell her that part!:)). Because it went so smoothly the first time, I tried it again. However this time, something happened to my body, that I was not entirey prepared for. I accidently hit a bump that sent my body in all different directions. As I quickly swallowed my coccyx back down, I thought for certain that a peice of my spinal cord had broken off, and literally started beating the hell out of my internal organs. When I finally came to a stop, I found myself just laying there…..smiling. I was smiling, NOT because I felt good and wished to do this again, but because I was alive and could move each of my extremities…though slowly!
After this incident, my turns down that hill became less and less. I was not only picturing how bad I would hurt tomorrow, if I kept going down, but it was hard to get myself back up that steep hill, clad in giant boots and snow pants. I wasn't the only one either. I heard a variety of different comments such as “Mommy doesn't sled honey”, and “Dont go that way, because Mommy cant get down there to save you sweetie”! The mothers that did go down that hill, also found theirselves at a heap at the bottom, sitting there long enough to encourage movement from their spines…..Our bodies dont bounce up the same!
Instead of going down, I just hovered at the top, watching my kids perform daring, and probably life threatening feats. I usually just let them do what they are brave enough to do, though one trip to the E.R., may leave me whistling a different tune. MY kids were the ones going down the back of the hill……The hill that was really too steep, lined with trees on both sides, and trees directly at the bottom. Other parents were tellling their kids…”No honey..you arent going down there….its too dangerous….you could die if you hit that tree…daddy loves you thats why….its not safe”! Some of the parents were looking at me when they made these comments, but I just nodded with them, pretending these kids weren't mine…… Until, my daughter hit the tree…. Then I had no choice but to laugh! Mainly, because I told her she was going to hit that tree!! 🙂
Before leaving, just like clockwork, I overheard my son tell another boy “If you even think about kicking my sled……I swear to God I will freaking kill you”!!! Just to be clear, our family does not swear to God, or threaten to kill anyone, or cuss for that matter…. However, we rarely go anywhere without this child doing one, or all of these things!!! Sigh…..
So, he sat out for the last minutes, as we all took our final turns. After 3 hours of playing, it was finally time to go. We all gathered, for our last ride down. Im not sure why on the last turn, there is always more confidence and bravery, but for whatever reason, I agreed to race my daughter down that hill! I dont remember everything that happened exactly, but it ended in catastrophe. I laid there for what seemed like 10 minutes, wondering if my arm was broke right off. I attempted to move it from under my body several times, before it finally gave…..Luckily, it was still attached!:)
As we walked back to the car, I looked back at that hill one last time. While it was a fun hill, with many possibilities, I knew that this hill was responsible for breaking many bones, many heads, and many dreams, egos and spirits. I hoped at this moment, that I wouldnt have to see her again…..until next year!