I cursed myself for buying Kay insulated snow pants that worked too well. It was getting late. She sat down on the cold sidewalk like a disciple of Ghandi. She wasn’t budging. I hoped she’d get cold enough to get up, grab my hand, and keep moving until she reached the warmth of the car. But no, those snow pants were too effective. They kept her four-year-old body toasty.
Our city’s winter festival includes ice sculptures in the park if the weather stays cold enough. That December was very cold. After we walked around and looked at all the sculptures, I started herding the kids towards the car. But, it was too late. Kay’s little legs were too tired to keep walking.
She was different than her brothers. They toddled along wherever I went since they didn’t want to miss out on anything. I even stopped one of Garry’s temper tantrums just by walking away. Kay would stay right where she was for a long time before she even noticed that I was gone.
Even though she was small for her age, she was still too heavy for me to comfortably carry her. I heard the chiropractor’s voice in my head, “Don’t pick her up or your back will hurt again.” Yet, there I was, lifting her like a bag of potting soil and hauling her to the car. How else was she supposed to get home? I wanted to call the chiropractor and tell him to come pick her up for me. It’s a good thing I didn’t have a cell phone back then.
Luckily, she didn’t wiggle. She was as content to sit in my arms as she was to sit on the sidewalk. She was also just as content to sit in the chair at the chiropractor’s office when I had to go in the next day for yet another adjustment.
I thought about how my daughter helped pay for that man’s vacations, and I felt angry. My back needed adjusting every week now that I graduated from massage school. We got massages three times a week as we practiced our techniques. Now, I was giving massages every week and not receiving them at all. My body wasn’t happy about that.
As I gave the receptionist money for my copay, I realized that something had to change. I needed to take better care of myself. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to take good care of my children or stay with my new career.
I called a friend from school and whined about my situation. She gave me the best and most obvious solution. “Let’s give each other massages every week. My body needs it too.” She also suggested that I find a nicer chiropractor.