My ankle hurts because I'm old. And because I have some serious arthritis going on.
But mostly because Luke Skywalker ran over it with the car.
It was many years ago, when he was a little tiny three year old. And it's an exciting tale. Every family has these epic tales that add spice to our lives. So I share it with you today.
I had just made a quick run over to the school for some reason, and I had to go somewhere else in just a second, so I left the van parked uphill on the wrong side of the road in front of our house. At the curb. In PARK. I promise. The kids were all in the backyard playing, supervised by the ever-responsible Thing One.
I ran into the house to grab something: the bag of aluminum cans hanging from the doorknob in the kitchen. And ran back out again. In the house for less than one minute. Didn't stop to use the restroom or feed the chickens or anything.
When I stepped out the door, I saw the van starting to roll down the street.
Luke Skywalker is standing up on the drivers seat.
Panic (just a wee bit, mind you).
What do I do? Continue running. Down the sidewalk. Chasing the van as it rolls backward downhill hugging the curb. I'm pretty sure I dropped the cans at some point. I played basketball in high school and college, and I don't think I EVER ran faster. Thing One comes into the front yard to find the missing Luke Skywalker, sees what's going on, and offers the useful contribution of screaming at the top of her lungs.
The neighbor across the street (not the one who spent the better part of a month painting the mortar between the bricks of her house with a craft brush and craft paint, the other one) who is out front pruning her roses, hears Karen screaming, sends her husband after me and calls 911 (I especially love how she didn't wait half a second to see how it would turn out -- she prepared for the worst). Her elderly husband tries valiantly to catch up with me and the van.
Me? I'm able to catch up with the van because I'm amazing. Then I try to open the driver's door. Which I actually succeed at while running sideways now. The transmission is in reverse. Thank you Luke Skywalker for changing the gears for Mommy. We had just had a new transmission put in, and I recall thinking "Crap. New tranny. Must save kid from certain death. To hell with the tranny."
Have you ever tried to change gears in an automatic transmission while it is rolling downhill and you are running sideways outside the vehicle?
I don't recommend it. I don't really think it can be done.
You'd probably just trip and fall. Like I did.
I hung on to the steering wheel, and proceeded to be dragged by the car down the street. Left hand gripping the steering wheel, both legs under the car. Right hand? Put that on the foot brake and stopped the car.
Yep. I'm amazing.
Except the car stopped on me, the tire having rolled up my foot onto my ankle.
Ow. Quite a lot of ow.
The two elderly neighbors caught up with me (another saw what was transpiring and joined Neighbor One in the chase) and then pushed the car off me. Luke Skywalker wasn't even slightly unnerved by the adventure.
The paramedics, a police car and a fire engine arrive. Did I mention we live one block from the fire station? Very convenient. Allows you to be humiliated in front of ALL your neighbors so much more quickly. They check me out, diagnose me with "lacerations and contusions," and a little bit of road rash. Since I can walk okay, they chose not to transport me. They do recommend that I see a doctor if the ankle gets any worse. And then they blessedly leave quickly.
Thank the burly neighbor men who pushed my van, and Neighbor One's quick-thinking wife. Start the car, drive it home and park it in the driveway. Reassure Thing One that she is not a failure at babysitting, Luke Skywalker is just an unstoppable holy terror. Calm the kids down, and start counting the bruises.
Fifteen minutes later, my INSANE PSYCHIC MOTHER calls. "Is everything okay? I was just feeling kind of worried about you." What's up with that? This is not the first time Insane Psychic Mother has done this. Gave her the run down, everyone is okay, no worries. "But what about the baby?" Oh, he's fine. Just fine.
"Not him, the new one?"
I forgot I was preggers.
Four months along, three high risk babies with history of miscarrage.
"I guess I could call the doctor and get checked out."
There's an understatement.
I spent two months in a giant black velcro walking boot. Eclair was born 5 months later, and I still wonder if maybe Pervasive Developmental Delay can be caused by extreme levels of stress and anxiety? We'll never know.
Alas, no good lessons were learned. Luke Skywalker? He learned that it's easy to put the car in reverse (new cars you have to push the brake pedal to change gears from "park" so this lesson no longer applies), and if you run over your mom with the mini-van FIRE TRUCKS AND POLICE COME TO YOUR HOUSE!!! Thing One? She learned that you can't take your eyes of that kid for even a fraction of a second. So instead she went on babysitting strike. Had to take that little ornery boy everywhere with me.
Why do I share this today? Because Luke Skywalker just turned 13. He's a teenager now. Almost old enough for a learners permit.