Tag Archives: life

I Got Knocked Down – And I Didn’t Get Up

What’s more embarrassing for a 16-year-old girl, than falling down on a busy street in her town during rush hour traffic? Falling down and not being able to get up. For hours. “How in the world could this happen?” you ask. This is my story.

It was a Friday night, early summer in Southern California and the Domino’s Pizza where I worked as a phone girl was running slow. You remember the Domino’s Noid from the early 90’s? That pesky red guy with big ears, who would stomp all over your pizza if it wasn’t there in 30 minutes or less? Well, the store I worked in was lucky enough to have a full sized Noid costume! Usually these get ups are reserved for scaring little kids and giving adults a giggle, because everyone feels so sorry for the poor fool inside. Tonight, I was that poor fool.

My boss asked if I’d like to dress up, go outside and hopefully drum up business. Sure! The costume was ginormous, built for a grown man, so we had work arounds to get it to fit me. These accommodations, plus ensuring someone walked me out, meant success. I couldn’t see through the peek hole because I was too short and the feet were too big to walk normally. The costume was hot as hell, so I wore only my tank top and capri leggings I had worn in. We got me set up, head on, (with rolled up towels under my armpits to help it tie under my arms), zipped up and my boss walked me out. The huge feet meant I had to take big clown steps down the big hill of a parking lot, so getting to the street was no small feat.

My boss got me situated and said he’d come back in 30 mins. I turned and began my waving routine – one arm waving, a little booty shake, next arm waving. Cars would honk and I would wave both arms. I was good at my job.

Until he jogged by.

I lost my breath when I saw the most gorgeous guy jogging my way. He was shirtless, muscled, tan and so very pretty. My brain was not engaged when my body took over and I started to move like I was jogging towards him. Before I could ponder whether or not this was a good idea in the gargantuan costume, I lifted one foot and began to exaggeratedly slow jog towards him, big ole Noid arms pumping and bobbing. I didn’t account for the big feet though and on my third foot lift it happened; I tripped and fell. Flat on my Noid face.

I lay there in shock for a second, trying to figure out what happened. I was mortified that I had fallen in front of him. Then I felt him make contact with the costume’s head. It was a hard kick or bump and I figured he had tripped over me. I was waiting for him to ask if I was ok. I waited. Nothing. It was then that I realized he had either in fact tripped and kept going, or he took a moment to actually kick the head of the costume and keep going. Either way, he was gone.

I wasn’t sure what to do. The costume was so big, I couldn’t just sit up and stand. I couldn’t reach the back where the zipper was to try and unzip it, and even if I could, I wasn’t wearing much underneath. The stomach was too big to reach down and pull the feet off. I was stuck. I rolled myself onto my back. That’s when I saw the light pole. I figured I could scoot my way over to it and use it to help me stand. I couldn’t lift the head anymore because the rolled up towels had fallen out from under my arms and now the head was loose and would simply fall backwards. I scooted, inch by inch, to the pole, where I was able to lift the head with my hands and prop it against the pole. I was now laying down on the sidewalk, propped against the pole, alone.

I waited; it HAD to be close to 30 mins and my boss would be out soon. I figured I would do my job, so I waved. Enthusiastically. Every so often I could see one of our drivers pulling in and I would flail my arms wildly, hoping they’d stop. They waved back. No one stopped. So I waited. And waved.

After what seemed like hours, I heard my boss. He was standing at the top of the driveway…cracking up. I was only able to see half of him but I saw him bent over, hands on knees crying. Then he was gone. Soon I see most of the crew outside – all laughing. I yelled, “Shut up and come help me up!” which they later told me sounded like, “Shmfph jsujj mup!”

Once inside, I learned they had gotten super busy and my boss had forgotten about me. So my “what seemed like hours” out there, actually was. I had been out there for 2 hours! He said a driver finally came in and asked him why I was taking a nap so he had come out and when he saw me, couldn’t stop laughing.

You’d think this experience would have turned me off from big costumes but alas it didn’t. I donned the Noid costume many more times, and later in my dress up career, a giant bunny for Easter at a Hallmark store. But I never jogged. I never saw the gorgeous runner again, which was good because I might have kicked him. My only hope is that someday, my kids get to enjoy the wonder that comes with getting into a sweaty, oversized costume and delighting the world with their magic.

 

An Open Letter To Me; I’m Sorry

Dear Me –

I’m not sure where to start, but it feels like a heartfelt, “I’m sorry,” would be good. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately and I feel shameful for the way I have treated you. While I know (better than anyone), how hard things are at times, I’ve still sat in judgment of you – constantly. I’m so sorry.

I live your daily struggle with Big Son; I see how hard you work to help him manage his ADHD and processing disorder. I know you spend countless hours researching, reading, trying new things and worrying. But I still chime in each day, telling you how you have not done enough, how you yelled this morning (which you KNOW is the worst possible way to communicate with your ADHD child), how the laundry is still not folded and you let the chicken sit in the fridge and ordered pizza. I remind you, these actions are the actions of a mom who is NOT doing her job right. I tell you this is what “lazy” moms do, moms who don’t care. I’m sorry.

Last week you spent time volunteering at Big Sons school and filling out countless back-to-school forms. You got school supplies, new clothes, all of Big Sons medical forms filled out, signed by Dr. and into school with his medicines. But, at the end of the week, I chastised you for being too tired to work out (your pants are getting snug) and forgetting to make an allergy Dr. appointment. I’m sorry.

On Saturday, after you’d taken all 3 boys to the trampoline house, to the store for a treat (which I let you know later was not the best idea – sugar is the devil, I said), then cooked dinner and finally got the laundry done, I made you feel bad for not watching that mind-numbing cartoon when Little Son asked and for having that second glass of wine. I’m sorry.

And those are just the recent things I am sorry for. I think back to the past 12 years with us being a mom and I cringe at how I have treated you. I’m also sorry for making you feel shame when you had to go to work every day and drop Big Son at daycare when he was little. I know you needed to work, but I still made you feel horrible. I told you all the other moms were judging you for not making it to every class party, field trip or concert. I sat in judgment of you when Big Sons dad had to work late and you let him zone out in front of the television (screen time will rot his brain, I said), while you cooked and cleaned up. I’m sorry.

When your marriage crumbled and you were a shattered shell of a human, I said you were ruining your children’s lives by being selfish and wanting out. I told you they would someday hate you. I told you everyone you know would judge you too. I watched you stay for a year and a half and struggle. I watched you lose yourself and I judged you – I shamed you. I’m sorry.

Each time you’ve allowed yourself to be even a little bit human, to feel overwhelmed with the day, overwhelmed with the noise, the fighting, the pee on the floor, the messy rooms and refusal to eat the healthy dinner you cooked, I judged you. I reminded you that YOU chose to have kids and I said you needed to step up and overcome those feelings. I told you other moms did it and I shamed you with, “Why can’t you?” I chastised you for not being perfect, for being human. I’m sorry.

I want to change for you. I want to support you in this crazy, joyous, scary and often times, overwhelming journey of motherhood. I want to be your biggest cheerleader when you’re successful,(Big Son finally puts new underwear on each day – yay!) and your safety net on those dark days, when it all feels like it is too much, and you’re not sure how you will cope with one more school detention for missing homework. I want you to end each day hearing me say, “You did the best you could today. You’re Awesome!” I want you to know that I mean it, I do. Because I KNOW how hard you try. I KNOW how deeply you love. I KNOW how difficult it can be.

So, my dearest me, I am sorry for the past. I am committed to you, to our journey through motherhood and to supporting you in being the best possible mom and human you can be.

You’re Awesome!

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