She tried. She really did. Like the time she came out to the garage to join us while shooting some hoops. Three dribbles later, she broke two nails, smashed her nose and fell to pavement. She never even got off a shot.
Now, there are a lot of things I can handle. They'll bother me, sometimes even disturb me, well, like seeing a deer careen off the bumper of car. Sad really. But I'll get over it.
Watching your mom bounce off the driveway tar like a dropped sack of potatoes is not one of those "can handle" things. Moms are not suppose to fall. They are forever to be upright and off the ground. And when they do fall, it's never pretty. For one, the don't know how, nor should they be expected to. They're moms for chrissakes.
And in that moment, that moment when you aren't quite sure if she's alive or not, you briefly but acutely understand just how important she is to you. How many life skills she bares so that you may continue to carry on in clueless, childhood chicanery. Abilities you have no desire to develop, let alone practice on your own someday. Talents like food preparing or puke cleaning or toilet flushing.
Yeah, it's bad, very bad, when they go down.
And if blood is shed, like the time ma tried to teach me how to ride a bike by demonstrating how to push off the curb, steer into a parked car, and crumble to the street in a twisted tangle of metal, bent tires and blood—with your life now in the balance—the only option, triggered by some deep, time-tested, survival gene, is to run in circles like a rabid squirrel, pinching your deedee, screaming "Ma! Ma! Don't die! Please don't die! Ma! Ma! Don't die! Please ...", until she gathers herself enough to limp over, yank you by a flailing limb, and yell,"Get a hold of yourself before they put you in the loony bin!" Only then, when you hear those wild crazed threats, barked from the otherwise normal human that you and your siblings had turned into the raving lunatic you fondly call mom, is the world back to normal.
You see, there are two rules about moms. Rule one: they are not suppose to fall. They are not built for such things and wouldn't know how to even if they were. Rule two: they are never, ever suppose to bleed, and not because they may seem bloodless from time to time, but rather because it's naturally unbecomng.
Leave that stuff up to the kids and dads. My brothers and I? Great bleeders. Dad? Fantastic tumbling down stairs or falling off ladders. Ma? Terrific at everything else. It's why the whole family thing works so well. We each have our roles.
And that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject.