December 15, 2011

Family Friday: Disaster Mode

As soon as you become a parent, you start to see all sorts of hellish situations lurking around every corner. I’m not even talking about the normal, oh my baby has a fever is it serious? Oh, my baby has a rash that will not go away, is it going to scar him? Oh, my baby ate plastic, will it rip out his intestines? No, I am talking about the crazy way-out-there I-will-save-my-kids-if-aliens-come-to-get-us stuff.

For example, we live in a city where one of the main highways is a viaduct – it is a two story bridge basically that runs above the waterfront – not unlike the two story bridge that collapsed during that crazy earthquake in San Francisco so many years ago. I have driven this road a gazillion times but not until I had my daughter in the backseat did I start to devise a plan as to how I would escape death in the event this road would fall hundreds of feet down to the ground. I logically concluded that I would somehow hoist my baby – whom could not grasp onto me yet – around my neck and shimmy down the large cement pilings that held the bridge up. I went over the scenario almost every time I drove across this highway – it made perfect sense to me at the time. As my baby grew older, I was reassured that now she would be able to ride piggyback style – I would be able to use both my hands to scale down the pilings. 

A few months ago, I was driving across this same stretch of road and started to think, shit, now I have two kids, how the hell am I going to get down safely? It never occurred to me that climbing down a straight vertical concrete tower, hundreds of feet from the ground, while holding one or two children, was unbelievably out of the question. I mean seriously, you should see this viaduct – it is not humanly possible to climb down this thing as it stands now, let alone as it is crumbling to the ground after an earthquake. I actually snorted out loud when I realized how sure I was that my plan would have worked.

That’s the thing about being a parent – you start to believe in miracles. You start to get a little cukoo when it comes to protecting your flock. You hear those stories of how a mom lifted up a car to get her baby out from under it – I believe it man. It could happen. I think something magical happens when you birth your child – some undetectable fairy dust gets stuffed back up in ya once the baby pops out and you are forever changed. You are now a crazy mama bear capable of lifting tons of steel and scampering down concrete pilings. No big thang. 

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