My grandchildren fall all of the time. The two little girls fall up and down each time they start to go somewhere and when they finish getting there. They fall off of chairs, the bed, my lap, and anything else which is over the top of their shoes. Each time they fall they dust themselves off and walk on as if nothing happened. Occasionally the fall is from a height above their shoe level and they make a louder noise upon landing than usual. On these occasions they will start to cry for a few moments or until they have attracted someone’s attention and then they run onto whatever they were doing.
My eight-year-old grandson also falls a lot but with each year that he adds to his age his falls become more dramatic, not the actual falls but the resulting noise he makes after the fall. A stumble resulting in a cartwheel four point landing with arms outstretched and legs still firmly planted in place will have him use a blood curdling yell similar to one used by a wounded jaguar who stumbled into a den of hungry crocodiles. After the vibrations of his yell calm down he will settle into a sob, which would bring tears to the most hardened criminal. At this time I will always ask him if he needs an x-ray? And he will calmly reply, “Oh, grandpa you always say that.”
His falls are less frequent as he gets older which is good for my hearing.
I have notice that we fall kind of on a bell curve, or a reverse bell curve with the top of the bell being the lowest and the bottom being the highest. What I mean is that when we are young we fall a lot and then when we reach the middle years we don’t fall much but when we get older we start to fall again. We sort of slip off the top of that slippery bell and fall to the bottom of the falling chart again.
There is however, a difference between the first falling and the sort of falling and the not falling and the falling again stages. When we reach the falling again stage, it hurts to fall and when we are at the bottom of the falling again stage, we really might break something and it hurts to fall. How do I know this? I fell yesterday and it hurts.
Yesterday was a cold a gloomy day so I decided to wear my sandals and not my heavy boots. I walked out to my truck with my feet feeling fine and quite liberated after being cooped up for so long. I noticed that the garbage men had collected the garbage so I walked out to get the dumpster. While walking I hit a patch of ice. Immediately I knew I was going to fall and then I began to go through the process of falling.
The first thing that happens when you enter into the process of falling, is that your legs go in a direction which they are not supposed to go. Mentally you consider this and then you decide to either make a correction or that it is too late to correct and you begin to prepare for the fall. I did the latter. I knew after some careful thought that my legs were too far gone in front of me to try and make any type of last second correction to prevent a fall. Now you are in the, “prepare to fall mode” and at this stage your body is most likely parallel to the ground, mine was.
Your body is equipped with three defensive points which you can employ. The first two are your hands and the third is your rear end. I weighed my options and considering the amount of weight I was going to trust my hands to stop, versus the broadness and considerable padding I have built up over the years on my rear end I decided the best course of action was to use my rear end as the first line of defense. So while I was still parallel to the earth I thrust out my rear end to point it downward toward the landing spot which had already been chosen for me.
My body was now shaped like a V and though I did not take time to consider this and probably should have taken the time to consider this fact. The V shape made me more aerodynamic and increased my speed. I hit the earth with my rear end and the “V” opened becoming a lowercase “I” laying on its side. The period on top of the “I,” my head hit the ground with a thud followed by my legs and feet. I had made it back to earth and now all there was left to do was inventory the damage.
First things first, I reached for my hat which had fallen off and put it back on. I did this in a hurry while laying flat on the snow-covered ice as if someone would not recognize me without my hat if they passed by and saw me lying there. Next I looked to see how far away the garbage dumpster was since I still had to get it returned to the yard. I then made a mental inventory of my body parts asking each of them if they were still in working order and to report any damage.
No damage was reported so I laid out a plan to get myself standing erect again. Once erect I went straight to the garbage dumpster and returned it to its rightful place in the yard. Next I went and sat in my truck, it was at this point that I realized every part of my body hurt. I did another inventory for damage and finding none proceeded to drive off on my mornings errands. By the time I returned home several hours later my body more than hurt it ached.
I went to bed last night fortified with rum and a heating pad. This morning I woke up in worse pain. There was no serious damage done to my body but since I have slipped over the top of the bell and am well on my way to the bottom slope, falls now hurt. I imagine I’ll have to fortify with rum for several days until the pounding in my head and the aching in my neck and rear end go away. My next fall may be after I have reached the bottom of the slope and then the damage will begin along with the hurting. Until that time I’ll just be grateful that I can still hold on to the side of the bell. I will also watch my grandchildren with envy as they flop and fall with every other step they take.