It happened again.I'm walking along at about 2 miles an hour and the sidewalk shifts beneath my feet and I fall. This time I just skin my knee/elbow/hand, curse the sidewalk architects, and keep walking. Later I discover a bit of blood or skin hanging from my wound. Its annoying, even irritating, but not life changing. I avoid those kind's of falls I'm tired of being hurt. I'm tired of scars and I'm tired of looking like i'm too uncoordinated to walk like a human. So I brace myself for the uneven sidewalk. I step around the spot in the road where I know there is a metal grate and I cross the street before I have to maneuver through construction. I expect the downfalls in the road and I go around as many of them as possible.
As I walked to the bus stop with my kids, I tripped, once again, on the steep drive a block before the stop. I caught myself and made a mental note to avoid the sidewalk on the block, instead walking in the gutter because its easier. As I grumbled under my breath about it, my son took my hand and said, "Its okay mom, I'll hold onto you and then when you trip you won't fall."
My boys spent the day with me, holding my hand, leading me through obstacles and tugging me in the direction they wanted me to go. By the time our travels were over...6 hours later I told them I felt like a piece of taffy.
"Salt water, or the strawberry kind with the jokes on the wrapper," my son replied. "Because I like Strawberry."
I was tempted to make some remark about his snarky, teenager, sense of humor just as I heard the smile in his voice. I laughed instead. He laughed too. All was right in the world in that moment because I let go long enough to understand. My boys were protecting me. Holding me up when I was going down. Steadying me when my feet couldn't find solid ground. Guiding me toward safety and my destination. I was frustrated that I had to trip, fall, and deal with the aftermath and they were telling me jokes and laughing.
What I wanted was to stop going down. They were doing the job both physically and in spirit. Reminding me that I can laugh, hold my kids hands, and walk. Blessings not everyone enjoys. The little things all of us take for granted are often the ones that make the biggest difference. Imagine the heartache of a mother who will never hold her child's hand again. Picture the turmoil of someone who will never take another step. Cry for the individual who lives in darkness so complete that they'll never laugh...with anyone.
If you can imagine these scenarios, heartaches, and struggles then you can also find gratitude for the fact that you have a hand to hold, a tear to cry and laughter to lift you when you're going down. Life will always be filled with scattered obstacles and pitfalls. The little things will give you a lift if you look for them and smile when you have the chance.