Sometimes the best entertainment in the house comes with the house. In fact, sometimes it is the house, or part of it. We are the proud owners of one such piece of equipment. Who knew that a simple piece of lumber could be such a draw to little ones looking for excitement? But paint a board with high gloss white latex, slant it, and run it down the side of the staircase going to the basement, and you have a six inch wide, six foot long banister that provides small thrill seekers a pretty adventuresome way to the bottom of the stairs.
The grandkids don’t see it as part of the house. They think it’s a piece of indoor playground equipment. Of course we, and especially Grandpa, discourage using it as a quick way to the bottom of the stairs. And no harm had befallen any of the fourteen little daredevils until last year when little Hattie gave it a try, tipped over the side onto the carpet below, and broke her leg.
All mended now and a year older our Hattie still likes to zip to the bottom. “Don’t do that Hattie. Come upstairs now. You’re going to break your leg,” I hear my daughter warn.
Hattie’s reply isn’t, “Oh yes, I remember mother. Thanks for the warning. Good idea. I’ve learned from my past. I’ll be right up.”
No sir. Hattie sits her little bottom at the top of the slide and zooms to carpeted safety. Then she stands up with her arms stretched out like she’s just taken the Olympic Gold in the event for courageous two years old and says with glee, “I didn’t break my leg!!!”
Hattie’s thinks its fun to beat the odds. Some people refer to Hattie’s place on life’s timeline as “the terrible twos.” It’s an age and stage we all go through where we can’t or won’t look down the road (or slide in this case) and see the possible consequences, terrible as they may be.
In my addiction I experienced the terrible teens and twenties and thirties. In addiction we all get a certain kind of thrill out of being dangerous and escaping the consequences—lost trust, lost freedom, lost health, lost relationships.
Time after time I convinced myself it was OK to slide down a slippery little slope and congratulate myself when the outcome was less than catastrophic. Thankfully I am not experiencing the “Terrible 50s.” I’ve learned that living on the edge and hoping to escape what I’ve got coming to me is no way to live. Better to take the conventional way and skip the speedy, slippery side trip to possible destruction, don’t you think?
The “Gold’ in recovery comes from standing at the top of the stairs day after day after day and walking down the boring way. If we do, in time we will each raise our arms like Hattie, filled with joy, and say, “Hey, I didn’t break my leg, I didn’t even come close, and thanks to Thee, Lord, I’m never going to break my leg again!”
So today I am calling out to people who, like me, have experienced some terrible years beyond the “twos.” “Don’t break your leg!”
By Nannette W.
Posted Monday, January 21, 2013
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