I have mentioned here before that I *may* be just the teensiest bit ungraceful. And if you believe I truly mean "teensiest" then you may have never read my blog before.
Most of the time my lack of ability to control my long-limbed body results only in a minor bruise, the source of which I cannot remember by the time it appears. Sometimes, though, my lack of coordination affects those I love.
Two weeks ago, on Sunday, I took my boys to a park after dinner to play a little baseball. The weather was beautiful and it was Labor Day weekend -- we were well aware that our days of beautiful weather were numbered.
I took my place on pitcher's mound and began lobbing pitches over the plate. Typically when we play its just the three of us, my boys and I, so we don't follow the rules of baseball all too closely. At seven, and with more athletic talent than his brother, Nick actually understands the rules and how the game is played. At five, Will plays because his older brother does, and doesn't much care that I tell him you can't just run around the bases every time you bat.
He pretty much laughs and continues to steal bases as soon as my back is turned.
This particular Sunday my Mom was with us, along with a friend and his son. Giggling as he rounded third base and was headed toward home, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try and press the issue with Will by using a little humor.
"Hmmm," I thought, "Maybe he'll learn that he can't keep stealing bases if I pick him up, tickle him and carry him back to third base."
I don't know why this seemed like a good idea.
There went Will, giggling and shrieking as he looked my way, hoping I was distracted and didn't see him trying to steal home. Quickly I turned and ran toward him while hunched over, more at his level. He picked up the pace and laughed louder.
"You can't steal home you little stinker!" I shouted, laughing as I scooped him up in my arms.
It was at that point that I dropped the three baseballs I was holding and Will began wiggling and swinging his feet in an attempt to get free.
Already in an odd posture (I hadn't stood up fully after scooping him up), and with momentum behind me and the awareness that I didn't want to misstep on one of the baseballs now under my feet, all it took was one of his shoes connecting with my shin to tip me off balance.
We were going down.
Oh my God I might land on top of my kid.
Oh my God I might crush my child.
So as to keep from doing so, I had the crazy idea to push him away.
I basically threw my kid on the ground, then fell next to him, scraping the palms of my hands and my right knee.
Will, despite my efforts, got the worst of it -- scuffed knees, a scraped forehead and a bloody elbow.
My heart broke a little when he, in tears, shouted, "Mom! Why did you do that?!?" I have never before felt more like an asshole.
Luckily, Will is one of those kids you can dust off, clean his wounds with a baby wipe, put on a band-aid or two and he's ready to go back out and play.
Laughing, he later asked his brother, "Did you see that? When Mom ran me over?"
Sorry kid. Momma will help pay for therapy when you need it later!