The Fall

Writing Doctor: How’s it going?

Me: It’s still pretty hard, and I still feel frustrated. However, yesterday, several of the students gave me a gift. It was a homemade writing journal. The cover is a beautiful collage of book jackets and inspiring quotes. This might sound strange, but it felt like a sign. I just knew that I had to fill the pages, and that I’d have to write again.

Writing Doctor: Can you think of anything that might be causing the block? Did something happen recently?

Me: Now that I think about it, something terrible happened on Saturday. My son, Gus, and I were getting ready to take a walk to the co-op around the corner from our apartment to pick up bananas and milk. We sat together on the floor, and I put on his shoes. We were practicing a new phrase: Let’s go! We repeated it back and forth a number of times with vigor: Let’s go! Let’s go! After I put Gus’s hat and mittens on, we stood up together. I grabbed the grocery bag with my wallet, and said, Let’s go!

We said goodbye to Josh who was painting a shelf in the kitchen. Gus waved to him in my arms, Bye bye, Daddy! We exited our apartment and started down the front stairwell. Gus wiggled in my arms, Down, Mommy! he called. I was a little surprised. Gus usually preferred a lift down the narrow stairwell. It was still an overwhelming amount of stairs for his short legs to traverse. I set him down. Hold the railing and Mommy will hold your hand. I gripped his small gloved hand, and we proceeded down the stairs.

It happened quickly. His little hand left mine, and he was tumbling forward. I reached for him, but my hands came up empty. My legs moved next, but they weren’t quick enough. I couldn’t stop his body from rolling down. A terror so deep within me called out desperately, and I saw Gus look at me. His eyes revealed utter bewilderment and something else.

It’s the something else that I can neither shake or pinpoint. I see it over and over again in my head. My worst fear is that he feels unsafe, like Mommy can’t keep him safe in the world. I know it’s inevitable that I can’t keep him safe forever. I just never thought it would happen like this and so young.

I’m just thankful he’s okay and wasn’t hurt other than a few bruises.

Writing Doctor: Give yourself time to heal and when you’re ready write about it.

6 thoughts on “The Fall”

  1. The reviews are in: this structure is just plain fun to read, even when the content is clearly calling for compassion! Glad he is ok…I’m sure this is not easy to erase-and your writing made me feel like I was witnessing it too. Five out of Five stars. Hope his bruises (and your memory bruises) heal quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, glad your son is OK. Accidents do happen, but knowing that doesn’t make us feel any better. Children seem to forget these incidents long before we do. Heal quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, children have VERY short memories for accidents. Again, I love your creativity. This is such a fun structure! And you told the moment with such detail, I could see it and feel it so clearly. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, poor little guy. And poor mama. I’m sure you took that tumble harder than he did. I love how you explore the fear of having Gus feel unsafe in the world. Such a deep-seated fear that parents share. And I really love the way this dialogue with the writing doctor is an exercise is giving yourself grace with your writing.


  5. There are falls
    In motherhood
    That make you think,
    Reflect but
    Cherish the climbs
    Even more
    As the victories
    to the peak are
    Even more sweet!


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