Back in the Saddle

3rd August 2007

The last few days I’ve been overwhelmed, wondering how I’m going to make all this mom stuff go and still have time for fun stuff. Stuff like going to the dentist! Purchasing underwear that fits me! The depraved luxury of cleaning out our refrigerator!

Anyway, now that we’re no longer attending weddings every twenty minutes, we decided to re-join the gym (the extra fifteen pounds or so has done nothing for my funk). This morning I was grimly plugging away on the elliptical machine. I was thinking about how little time I have, and how many things I want to do, and how the elliptical machine is not one of those things.

Then the news came on, and they showed that picture. You know the one. It’s Melissa Hughes, standing on a recently collapsed bridge, holding her baby girl. And that baby is so tiny, and calm, and safe, I want to cheer. Because, my friends, it is a monumental thing to hold a safe, healthy baby in your arms.

And thus ended my existential crisis about overdue birthday cards. I am a jackass, God. Thanks for the awesome baby.

63 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle

  1. Jenn

    Seriously…this post made me tear up! Thanks for the reminder that the little things really shouldn’t make me go crazy!

  2. jessica

    ya- i’m a little teary over here too.

    all i can think to say is YOU GO GIRL!

    And i know that’s lame. but my heart is all swelled up for you, and for me too (i don’t know why)

  3. amanda

    Glorious moments filled with magic, mixed with reality rocking brushes with death, parenthood.
    Forget the extra 15, it’s the other 15, the years that seem to be scraped from your life as you survive the terror of wasting a second.

  4. Sue at nobaddays

    You and me both, with the perspective. I am often on the elliptical (work gym), fretting over the 12 pounds and how to balance work and mom stuff, and then I remember how freaking fortunate I am. This post was deja vu for me, and a timely reminder.

  5. Joe

    Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? And yet we all must choose to do what’s important to us with the time we have. How important is “working out” to you?

  6. Kara

    I had a similar realization when I had my 3 month old during Katrina and saw those babies on TV. However, I find it keeps coming back. You HAVE to find a way to be able to keep doing some YOU things to keep your sanity.

  7. Megan

    (not to belie the touching sentiment of your story with a bit of consumery drivel, but i’m new back at the gym and am loving itrain.com programs for motivation. doesn’t solve the time crunch but makes me feel i’m getting more out of the time i do spend. check out ‘iclimb’ if you like the elliptical machine. and now go kiss on your baby.)

  8. Lisa Milton

    “And thus ended my existential crisis about overdue birthday cards. I am a jackass, God. Thanks for the awesome baby.”

    Best words, really.

    You hit the nail on the head today.

  9. Kyran @ Notes to Self

    not to appear untouched by the reference to what really counts, BUT…

    ditch the elliptical. get a treadmill. trust me.

    (you’ll have to ask someone who caught the day two breakfast keynote at blogher)

  10. kate

    I can’t imagine how you get to the back seat and wrestle your baby out of those damned carseats as a bridge you’re on is collapsing (and by you, I of course mean that poor, but lucky woman).

    I sympathize with your lack of doing stuff. My husband works until 9ish (at least) every night so I pretty much don’t get help at home and no peace and quiet til the baby is in bed. See where you can carve out some peace and quiet for yourself. I do it while my husband and baby are having breakfast. Or I take a walk at night to go buy ice cream… which means I need an eliptical trainer, but… I promise it gets better. Now that my baby is 20 months old, I finally feel somewhat sane. Somewhat.

  11. el

    Thank you for that.
    I am one of the not-so-lucky parents who have a child who has not been blessed with good health and development. When I hear parents of healthy normal children complain about their lives, I want to smack them (not to be mean…just a little wake up slap, friendly like…). You have so SO SO MUCH to be thankful for. So much.

  12. Julie

    Thanks for this post, Maggie. I am 12 wks pregnant with my first baby and am already worrying about how life will be after it arrives (I know, I know, not the same). Your post made me so eager to meet this baby and hold it in my arms and see my huband being a dad. Thanks.

  13. Jessi Panyk

    Thanks for that. I’m going on a previously planned vacation to Minneapolis this week and now it all seems so surreal. I’ll tell my husband to slap me if I complain about anything while I’m there.

  14. jana

    I had the very same sort of experience. I’ve been freaking about about finishing my master’s thesis and not having enough time to exercise away my extra fifteen pounds of baby weight…but that photo made me pause and give myself a mental slap.

  15. Matt

    What hit close to home for me (literally 5 miles away)was the busload of kids on the center section that had landed on all fours, and it was the teacher that came out with the worst wounds. My 7-yr. old daughter went with her friends and their parents to a softball game in St. Paul that evening. They heard the news on the radio and called us immediately to let us know they were o.k. Time stood still for about a half hour…

  16. Pickles & Dimes

    Hi Maggie,

    I used to work with Melissa and when I checked in with her coworkers the next day, they told me her baby wasn’t in the car with her during the bridge collapse.

    Which was extremely fortunate, since her car was the one that had another vehicle crash on top of it.

    Melissa called her husband right away and he brought their baby to her.

  17. crzylady

    On Thursday I am headed to Bend OR (about 5 hours from my house). It is the first trip from home (further than 2 hours and longer than 2 days) my husband and I will have taken together… ever. Our daughter is a year and a half. We live in a small rural town in Idaho. I read with wonderment all of your fun outings to cafes and bars and AMSTERDAM (haven’t been since I was 18) with your very lucky husband and son. If I could have one iota of the adventures you’ve had already… ahhh, well. Just remember you are having fun the best kind of fun and the rest of us are living vicariously through you.

  18. Vikki

    I live in Minneapolis and have been over that bridge countless times. For me, it’s the picture of 23 year old Sadiya Sahal and her two year old, Hanah, who are both missing…well, I have a daughter the same age and I’ve held her just a bit tighter this week.

  19. Moxie

    I grew up in Minnesota. If we wanted to go into the city to see the Twins play, that was the bridge we drove on. During college I lived in two apartments- one on either side, in view of that bridge. I’ve seen both the buildings on the news the last few days. We have so many friends and family who drive on that exact stretch almost daily- I feel strangely guilty being so relieved that they are safe when 13 people are not, but I think it’s ok to be grateful as well.

  20. Lisa

    I’m glad you had that moment. I’ve finally got pregnant in February but miscarried. I’ll never have that moment.

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