by Kasey Tross
After I read Ashley & Jessica’s wonderful post from yesterday I realized that mine was quite similar- but I guess that just means it’s a lesson somebody out there needs right now. So I apologize if you are not that person and if this feels slightly repetitive. :-)
First, Happy Labor Day! Second, I discovered this little gem of advice one day on facebook, and last week it came in handy. I was up in my (admittedly messy) craft room searching for my extra stash of school supplies in preparation for taking my kids to the open house at school when I felt a piercing, sharp pain in my big toe. Imagine my shock and horror when I found this poking out:
And even more so when I tell you that from the point of the needle to where my fingers are in the photo was completely buried in my toe. That’s right- at least an inch of metal.
Well, after screaming (and perhaps uttering a few very un-Mormon-like words) I collapsed onto the floor and yelled for my daughter (who is not as old as my son, but much calmer about these sorts of things) to grab the first aid kit. I took some deep breaths, prayed for God to ease my panic, and waited. She brought the first aid kit, and I removed a piece of sterile gauze that I could use to staunch the bleeding once I removed the needle. I carefully placed the gauze over the entry point and began to pull.
The pain came, but the needle didn’t. It was really, really stuck in there. I bit my knuckle, then got back to work, wrapping the string that was threaded through the needle around my finger so I could get a better grip. Then I just pulled. Hard. And tried not to scream.
As I removed the offending object, I had flashbacks of labor and delivery- yeah, it was bad. You know how in movies they always show people pulling knives and swords out of themselves? Well, for one thing, it’s not as easy as it looks. And for another thing, it hurts a LOT more than it did when it went in. Plus, you have to get over the fact that YOU are the one causing the pain this time and that essentially, you could make it stop- but really, you can’t, because people can’t just walk around with needles sticking out of their big toes.
So anyway, my little helper followed a few more instructions and I got myself bandaged up (even though, much to my surprise, it didn’t really bleed- I was expecting a gusher after all that pain) and hobbled downstairs clutching the two red pens and one pink highlighter I had gone up there to retrieve in the first place. I was still in quite a bit of pain, and realized that this was definitely throwing a kink into my plans to go to my kids’ open house.
But I remembered this bit of advice and with a pained smile on my face I yelled, “PLOT TWIST!” My kids probably looked at me very confused, but I was still slightly delirious with pain, so I didn’t really notice. Then I did what any brave heroine would do when faced with a plot twist: I sucked it up. I took two ibuprofen for the pain, called my mom and husband and told them what happened (because it seems like the kind of thing moms and husbands should know- and I needed the prayers) and packed up the kids and went, hobbling all the way. Keep Calm and CARRY ON, people!
So what does this have to do with anything? Well, other than the clever writing allusion and the helpful information about stab wounds (you know, in case someone in your story decides to get themselves run through), it has a lot to do with life, and especially motherhood. Your life is a story- it’s the story of you, and like any good story the main character must face obstacles in order to grow and progress. In my story, a mother was already facing the challenge of getting two older children prepared for school and trying to keep the younger ones from disrupting the process when suddenly she was struck down by an unforeseen challenge in the form of a sharp, unfortunately placed needle.
There are times in our life story when stuff just happens, and it’s not anyone’s fault (well, maybe mine for leaving a needle on the floor) and you can sit and moan about it and complain but really, all that will do is add a bad attitude to an already bad situation. The one thing you can control when bad stuff happens is how you will react. You are in charge of the main character in your story- YOU! Be the heroine and accept what has happened, do what you can to remedy it, despite how unpleasant and inconvenient it may be, and move on. Because that’s what heroines do. Especially when you have kids- you just don’t have time to bemoan your bad luck and feel sorry for yourself. As a wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!”
So, when something in your life goes wrong- you get all the way to checkout at the grocery store with all four kids, the cashier rings up all the groceries and you realize you left your wallet at home (also last week), you are about to make dinner and realize you are completely out of a key ingredient (that was last week too), you pull a muscle in your foot from jamming your last 3 toes into the high chair (okay, last week was kinda rough, apparently)- just yell, “PLOT TWIST!” and move on.
Even if it means you have to hobble.