Today we had doctors appointments. Luckily, my kid loves doctors. He always remembers to ask for an extra popsicle stick (tongue depressor) so he can talk about “a giant popsicle” and how “we should make giant popsicles”. He carries it around like it’s the thing that’s been missing from his collection. A collection of lord knows what…
On our walk home (I am fortunate enough to live two blocks away from our pediatrics office) we cross a very busy road, where we have to wait for the cross walk signal and wander out in front of multiple waiting cars. On our way across, the worst happened. Miah dropped the popsicle stick. I frantically look at how much time we had to cross the road vs. the cross walk signal. Blinking red hand, me pushing a stroller, and herding my 4 year old across a busy intersection= me not chancing it. I made the call. It was down for the count. I started dragging Jeremiah to the other side, where he desperately looked back with broken hearted eyes. The tears started to well. “My stick!!” he cried. Visions of my childhood and my weird tendency’s to attach myself to inanimate objects rushed to my mind.( Toy story really struck a chord with me because I believed all my stuffed animals had feelings and could tell when I liked one more than the other, leading to piles and piles of stuffed animals on my bed at night.)
I looked back at the stick, now being run over by cars. Something felt so heartless about leaving it there. Alone. While my child watched his beloved popsicle stick he had been carrying around all afternoon be run over, having to turn our backs and walk away. I couldn’t let my kiddo down. “Be the hero that you would’ve wanted when you were his age. Save it.” I said to myself.
I waited by the side of the intersection, waiting for the walking man to light up on the signal. I puffed up my chest and walked out in front of all the stopped cars, bent over picked up that tongue depressor and proudly walked back to my child waiting safely and patiently on the sidewalk. I smiled at him and handed it to him, looking for the spark of joy to creep up in his eyes as his beloved stick had been saved.
“I don’t want to hold it. I just wanted you to get it so I could throw it away in our trash.”
-The Defeated Wife