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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Margaret Unruh blog: Making it Better

  • Our new Community Blogging Network page is on the way...
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  •      Note to readers: While the “Community Blogging Network” page on the new crookstontimes.com remains “in development,” we’ve asked some of our bloggers to submit their latest posts to us for publication in our print edition. Here is a post from Margaret Unruh’s “A Life Less Ordinary, Lived in the Everyday” blog.
        Often, when his young child took one of the many tumbles that toddlers do, a friend’s encouraging words to said-child were:  “Come here; I’ll pick you up.”
        The strategy usually worked.
        My right knee sports a small, ragged, dark pink spot as tribute to the worst bike wipe-out of my youth. No one was there to pick me up; my friend tried, but I was too big for her to juggle along with the two bikes. Her mom patched me up; we thought there might still be “a little gravel under the skin.” I think we were right.
        Though my husband likes to tease that I’m no good in a crisis, I do have mind-evidence of professionalism-in-the-face-of-owies. Perhaps the most vivid recollection involves the day the asphalt playground neglected to peel back the nylon-blend Zubaz pants, but the skin of the kneecap underneath the fabric wasn’t so lucky. As I sat between the child (who was awaiting his mom’s arrival) and his teacher (who’d come to assist but now had her head between her knees), I admit to sporting a tiny smile. It was the grin that said “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”
        We folks don’t always literally fall. . .
        A year or two earlier, my caution to “take it easy on the merry-go-round” went unheeded. My tan sling-back sandals didn’t see it coming:  “Mrs. Unruh, I don’t feel so. . .” You know how that ended. It was after lunch on a first day of school.
        The custodian was out for lunch. And they never, ever told us what to do about that in our methods classes!
        From then on, I advised my students with the morning’s greetings and procedures:   “. . .You don’t need to let me know. I ‘ll figure it out.” Alas, they usually didn’t, and I usually did. . .because they’d skip the part about leaving the room. And I managed to get through years of multiple minor catastrophes of the moment. Somehow.
    Page 2 of 2 -     But when one of my own urped so gleefully (as only toddlers can do) on the Fisher-Price barn and barnyard critters without warning somewhere in the middle of “the sheep says ‘baa’ and the horse says ‘something like a hysterical giggle’,” I bailed. I could do so because Hubby was there to make it better.
        I suppose how we “pick” one another “up” is relative, hastily defined in the moment, directly based upon the correlation of self to the dependency of another. Our instincts to stay or bail teach us. We learn more about ourselves and our relationships with those around us when one of us falls down.
        Tears to be dried or averted. Calamities to be diminished. Strengths to be shared. Resiliency to be encouraged.
        Resolution and solution.
        “You can do it. I’m here.”
        Never, ever ordinary, renewed daily for our hearing and so far from everyday:
        “Come here; I’ll pick you up.”

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