Shortly after the birth of my first son, I was racing
across a busy downtown intersection when I tripped. Then came a
searing pain. Having broken my foot as a kid, I assumed I had done
I confidently hobbled into the ER and informed the lady at
registration that I had most definitely broken my foot.
"That's nice, dear. Now what kind of insurance do you
"Gosh, I hope they give me a walking cast. I can't manage
a new baby on crutches."
A short five hours later, I was with a doctor as he
reviewed my X-ray. "There's no break, ma'am."
Ma'am? When did I transition into ma'am territory? I
cleared my throat to allow enough time to remove the righteous
indignation from my voice.
"No break? Are you sure?" I eyed him
suspiciously and noticed he looked an awful lot like a kid I once
"I'm sure, ma'am." Crap. I
had babysat this guy.
"So what do you think it is?" I asked the
former 9-year-old lad who loved Ewoks and macaroni &
"Well, given your pregnancy-related weight gain, I suspect
Did he just call me fat?
"You'll want to see a podiatrist for
"What does treatment involve?"
"There are a number of things they do, including special
shoes, inserts, cortisone shots, and for the morbidly
I stopped listening and started imagining my new life
wearing orthopedic shoes and getting called "ma'am"
and "fat." I decided to investigate one of those
Colonial Penn funeral policies. Old, fat people need
By the time I saw a podiatrist, I was horribly depressed.
Nobody had warned that motherhood was the gateway into old-agedness
I made an appointment with a middle-aged podiatrist who
cheerfully endured my curmudgeonly ways. He asked a few questions,
the final one being, "Do you have hardwood floors?"
Why yes, yes I do.
"And do you walk around without shoes or
"We'll start you on the inserts, honey. But I don't think
you're going to need them very long if you just wear slippers on
your feet or buy carpeting."
Hold the phone. Did he just call me
Forget Colonial Penn. I was BACK. And I was calling the
Empire Carpet guy.
Since that day, I have rediscovered countless childhood
games, songs and activities. I have caught lightning bugs, put
sprinkles on my ice cream, and rode my bike all the way around the
block with "no hands."
Motherhood, as it turns out, is not a precursor to AARP
membership. In many ways, it is actually a gateway back to
But this time around is better.
This time I'm the one with the keys.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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