I’ll gladly admit that I love Liberty. Actually both of them liberty (such as my freedom) as well as Liberty, the willful, uncontrollable character I once created. If you don’t believe me on this, I once wrote an acceptance speech on her behalf after she was awarded the debut vote for the “worst heroin (sic) of all time” on an Amazon discussion board. You’re welcome to read about it here.
Anyway, as much as I might like to deny it, I have a lot in common with Liberty: I’m the youngest child with siblings far more popular than I ever was, I’m not a “stunner” by any stretch and was often criticized for not-so-glamourous looks growing up. I also might be a bit…er…strong willed and determined.
When my mother got about halfway through my first book, she called me and asked if my middle name had changed to Liberty… I guess she thought we were similar, too.
I’ve never denied that I add a little of “me” to each of my heroines and here is MY latest Liberty Moment!
Two weeks ago, another strange creature from a foreign land (not the same one who told my son’s Kindergarten teacher that I’d LOVE to be the homeroom mom, this one was a little more feisty) made itself at home in my skin long enough to go ride Razor scooters with my six year old son. Now, before we go any further, I’m only 27, not ancient, but not quite as young as I once was.
We live on a hill and I knew better than to ride the thing down our driveway. With my luck, I’d collide with our brick-wrapped mailbox and kill myself. Instead, I hopped on at the end of our driveway and agreed to follow my son around the neighborhood. I knew our road was on a slight incline, I just didn’t realize how much until we started and my speed started to increase. Then I started to go faster and faster and faster. Gripping the handlebars for dear life, I tried to reach the brake with my foot, but couldn’t get into position. Meanwhile, I’m zipping down the pavement over a few stray rocks slipping a bit on the cracks. (I swear I left ten permanent indentions of my fingers into the foam grips on the handlebars.)
Somehow between all of the shifting and jerking and trying to reach the brake, I steered the scooter right off the pavement and into the grass. With a bump and a yelp I felt my feet take flight off the platform of that scooter (but my hands DID maintain their grip) and less than a second later, I hit the ground with a hard crash, then again and again as I rolled down into a ditch and had so much propulsion that I rolled up the other side. Stunned, I lay still for a moment taking it all in: laying on the ground in the middle of neighbor’s side yard, the crippling pain in my leg, the way my son just kept on going as if he had NO idea what had just happened, the hysterical male laughter!
I glanced over to confirm my suspicions and two of my neighbors (adults, no less) were standing in their driveway laughing hysterically at me.
Outraged, I did the only thing I could. I gritted my teeth to hide my grimace as I came to my feet, straightened my helmet, brushed the grass off my pants, walked to the street and got my hiney right back on that scooter and proceeded to ride the darn thing every inch of that two mile loop! By the time I got home, I seriously thought I was going to expire from pain. Which is rare for me since I never took any pain pills after having either of my children, nor after the incision from my c-section came open. This “incident” was positively the most painful thing I’d ever encountered next to the bout of lockjaw I had two years ago after the extraction of my wisdom teeth.
When I told this story to a small group of friends, I got one reply that said expressed how hysterical the mental image my story gave her…so much so she nearly had to change her underclothes. Another reply made ME laugh so hard I nearly had the same problem as she likened me and my stubbornness to Liberty. Yes, indeed, I am very strong willed and wasn’t going to let the rotten behavior of my shameless neighbors get the better of me. I had every intention of proving to those men (and myself) that I was no weakling and their beastly bad manners weren’t going to put me off or embarrass me.
In case anyone is wondering the extent of my injury, I have to admit that it was not comprised of 90% of bruised pride and only 10% bodily injury as I originally hoped. As it would happen, more than two weeks out and I have an awful limp and have spent more time in digital imaging than I ever thought I would, but no broken bones, just muscles and ligament damage.