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 waited, hoping she’d get cold enough to get up and grab my hand. Then, I could just steer her towards the warmth of the car. But no, those snow pants were too effective. They kept her four-year-old body toasty warm.
Our city’s winter festival includes ice sculptures in the park if the weather stays cold enough. That December was colder than the freezer truck driven by the local ice cream man. After we walked around and looked at all the sculptures, I started herding the kids back towards the car. But, it was too late. Kay’s little legs were tired and she was done 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. But, Kay didn’t need my company like the boys. She 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. 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 his cell phone number.
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 for yet another adjustment the next day.
I thought about how my daughter helped pay for that man’s vacations and I felt angry. My back needed adjusting every week since I graduated from massage school. We got massages three times a week during school as we practiced our techniques. Then, I started my business and 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 massage 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.