Yesterday, Matt was out doing a hospital visit when I saw the mail truck drive by. Excited by the prospect of Christmas cards, I scooped up Kate and we headed out to see what holiday greetings awaited us in the mailbox. About halfway down the sloped driveway, however, I somehow tripped over my own two feet and fell forward.
The presence of mind I felt made it seem like the fall was happening in slow motion. "She's on my left hip, so I need to roll myself to the right." I did just that, and without an extra hand to break the fall, I fell hard on my right knee, hip, elbow, and shoulder. Even after most of me hit the ground, another moment of clarity said "I need to move my right hand up to protect her head." I cupped her forehead as I skidded along the blacktop a bit from the forward momentum. I knew it would be quite a forceful blow to her head if it hit the ground, but thankfully, it did not.
She whimpered a little from the startle, but didn't cry. She was fine! I, on the other hand, have scrapes and/or bruises on my right knee, hip, elbow, and shoulder, and they do hurt, but I'm just so happy and grateful that Kate didn't get her forehead cracked open, or even a big goose-egg.
This tumble also made me really aware of and grateful for the strength of the maternal (well, parental, as I know any daddy would do the same!) instinct to help a parent protect one's child. Mama Bear really does take over! I'm always thinking about how I would respond to protect Kate in the event of a fire, tornado, home invasion, etc., and this incident gives me confidence that I would have the presence of mind to focus and quickly act to protect her.
I know I'm no superhero, and that there will be some things in life that I cannot protect her from, but on this day at least, Baby Bear is safe because gravity and blacktop were no match for Mama Bear.