On occassion, I ponder the what-ifs in life. What if our house burns down? What if I get stuck in the snow with Reagan in the car? What if Reagan eats all her veggies and all her chicken and is still hungry? What if...you get the idea. Never seems to be good what-ifs. Only the bad ones. Because if I ponder them then they won't happen. Right? If I'm wrong, I don't want to know.
Last week as the snow fell from the sky and the ice coated our little corner of the world, I pondered a new what-if. What if I fell on the ice while carrying Reagan? Would I drop her? Would I be able to protect her? It was a mostly-fleeting consideration. I didn't dwell on the subject too long. But it passed through my mind.
By Sunday morning, most of the snow and ice had melted from the pavement. We snuggled Reagan in her very warm, very thick, very soft brown winter coat (it has a pink lining, relax). We carefully but comfortably drove across town to church. We pulled into our usual parking space (the one that is extra wide because we are afraid of flung-open-doors). As I undid my seatbelt, Hubby asked me if I wanted to get Reagan or if he should. I remarked casually that I would get her. I unbuckled her 25 carseat restraints and took my bundled child out of the car. And off I started. Walking confidently. Walking normally. Not looking down at my feet because her very thick coat prevented such proactivity.
And then I hit a patch of ice.
I have often bragged to my husband that wearing high heels is intelligent because the heel acts as a pick. Which may be right, I'm not yet willing to admit I was wrong. But unfortunately for me, this only works when you know you are walking on a slick surface. I assumed I was walking on clean pavement. I was not.
I felt my feet go out from under me and I had one of those really awful moments of slow-motion oh-crap-this-is-gonna-be-bad feelings. Hubby, standing behind me, probably would have found it amusing to see me floudering around as though I was a deer on ice, had it not been for the small brown bundle in my arms. Down I went. With PetePete. I managed to actually catch myself with one hand while firmly embracing my daughter with the other. And I did my best not to crush her as I landed on her. I did my best not to let her touch the ground at all. And you know what, despite my genetic clutziness, I actually managed to NOT land on her or let her "hit" the ground. I slowed down my fall enough that though she touched the ground, she did not slam into it. That and God saw to it that we picked out a very thick coat and hat for a very good reason - protection! She never felt a thing. Though she did make a small protest at being placed on the ground suddenly. She politely but firmly requested I not do that again.
After Hubby scraped me up off the pavement and took our small precious brown bundle from my arms, he gently scolded me.
B - I told you it was slick out here!
J - Yes, it is. I can see that now.
B - Well...be careful! Don't fall.
J - Words best spoken 2 minutes ago.
B - I'll help you into church.
J - I can't go in there!
B - Why?
J - Um, my nylons are shredded and my knees are bleeding.
B - So?
J - Seriously. I'm going home to change.
And now I know. Now I know what would happen were I to slip and fall while carrying Reagan. I would do exactly what I hoped I would do - sacrifice my body just to save her. Good to know, actually. Makes me feel a little better about myself. And though I am slightly ashamed of my skittering moments in the parking lot (what a show that must have been), I am equally as quietly proud that Reagan never felt a thing.
I have been fired from carrying Reagan across an icy parking lot while wearing heels. And I am now afraid to think about what-ifs. I mean, what if the what-ifs actually happened?