It was another week of adventure for our family that culminated with a very eventful walk in the park. I guess I wouldn't label it an adventure as much as a fearful-moment-in-motherhood-history, never-to-be-repeated-again kind of experience.
It started with a beautiful sunny morning. And a seemingly great idea to head to Fish Trap Creek for a walk with the kids. I foolishly thought to myself that I could get some exercise - Keziah on her bike, Silas in the stroller - so we should be able to move along at a relatively heart-rate-appropriate pace, right?
Wrong. It was more like, walk 10 feet, stop to look at ducks, walk 15 week, stop for Keziah to test her bike brakes, walk 6 feet, stop, look back and tell Keziah to keep peddling. Yes, honey, you actually have to keep your feet going round and round the whole time...
I quickly surrendered my need for a brisk walk and simply enjoyed the sunshine and fresh spring air. We even stopped at the big tree beside the big rock for a few pictures.
Hey, we even stopped for a little history lesson.
It was a little while later, when we were navigating the various little hills in the path, that I had the 'what-if' thought of Keziah steering herself off the path and down towards the water. She's a bit unsteady with her biking at this point and going up/down hills is not a strong point for her. The thought crossed my mind that, if she started going down while I was still pushing Silas, what would I do?
We rounded a few more corners and then Keziah steered herself off the curb a little too abruptly when a stroller was passing us. Her bike started toppling over and I let go of the stroller to catch it and console her after some minor leg scratches. I'm not sure how long it was before I thought to look over at the stroller, but by the time I did, it had slowly been rolling down a slight hill and heading off the path. I ran as fast as I could towards it but I knew I wouldn't catch it before it went off the trail and down the hill towards the water. I scrambled down after it, and managed to stop it (with the help of some nasty thorn-covered bushes that I am thanking God for!). Silas was obviously upset. Keziah was too - her own injuries quickly forgotten.
Now, my next challenge was getting Silas and the stroller back up the embankment. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to manage this. Thankfully a young couple rounded the corner in my moment of desperation. A tiny part of me felt embarrassed to be found in the ditch with my baby, but I was mostly just relieved. I passed Silas up first and then the stroller came up quite easily with the guy's help. The girl held Silas for another minute or two while I gathered up the items from my stroller that had been thrown out (including my camera).
Once I got back up to the path, took Silas in my arms and took a few steadying breaths, I thanked my helpers. They lingered for a moment - not sure how else to help me so I said something stupid like, "Ok, you're free to go!"
Silas was upset for a little while - understandably. His most-repeated phrases went something like this, "I go in the water sandals" (yes, I suppose it did seem as though he was rushing towards the water and about to go swimming fully-clothed) as well as, "People hold you!" (translation: he was more concerned about being held by strangers than the thrill ride down the hill).
Anyway. Heart-pounding stuff. Let's just say I will be MUCH more conscious about using my stroller brake from now on. And, for the rest of you stroller-pushers out there, consider this lesson learned. For all of us.
So then, about 5 minutes later, as we were headed towards the playground to redeem our very bad walk, my legs started stinging.
It struck me how, in that moment, I didn't have to think about racing through those thorn-covered bushes with bare legs... Thankfully I had runners on, but I suspect that even if I was barefoot I wouldn't have hesitated. Amazing - those motherly instincts and the fact that I didn't feel the pain until the drama was over.
So, now... the aftermath.
I'm just hoping these scratches will heal up by the wedding in 2 weeks. Otherwise I'll be using make-up on more than just my face.