Monday, August 18

An Aura of Calm

There is a part in the movie Titanic that always made me start to bawl when I watched it (OK, it made me cry like the first 8 times I saw it). It is when the ship is going down and the poor Irish mother is tucking her kids into bed, and telling them that it will be alright, it will all be over soon. Heartbreaking. Like mothers in all walks of life for generations she had to put her children first and calm their fears without even having the option of having any of her own (even though inside she must have been shi**ing). I had a similar experience today, except on about 1 millionth of a less dramatic scale. The kids came to my office with me which they love to do, and after we had lunch I had to go upstairs in the building for an eye appointment. On the way down (two floors but we of course had to take the elevator because they are right up there with escalators on the fun factor) the elevator got stuck. Right there between floors 5 & 6, stuck, stuck, stuck. Now, I have worked in this building for 12 years, and with my avoidance of all things exercise related, ridden in these elevators 2 or 3, sometimes 4 times a day. Thousands of times. But today, today I get stuck. I knew it was bad immediately because instead of the usual creak the elevator makes it just shuddered to a stop and none of the buttons would work. The whole panel went black.

Jack - "Are we stuck?"
Me - "Umm, I think so, but that's OK"
Jack - "How are we going to get out of here?"
Me - "No problem, I'll just push this little button here and we'll be out in a jiffy."

I then proceeded to calmly speak to the voice at the other end of the button, telling her where we were and letting her know that it was not an emergency or anything but I did have 2 children with me so maybe they could get us out speedily.

Jack - "How are we going to get out of here?"
Me - "They will just push some buttons and fix it right up and we'll be out."
Jack - "What if they can't, do we have to stay in here forever?"
Me - "Of course not silly, people get stuck in elevators all the time (on my soap opera) and they always get out."
Jack - "Like in Curious George. He got stuck in the elevator and the fire department had to come and rescue him. Cool, is the fire department coming?"

You may wonder where Abbey was during this. She was standing still and not saying a word. I had to keep asking her if she was alright. She said she was, but I could tell she was a little freaked. They both were, and I was a little freaked myself but I knew that I couldn't let my eyes even show a bit of freaked-out-ness (is this a word?) because I am their mother and mothers have to stay calm in all emergencies and be in control. Any fears you may have are reflected in their eyes, so my eyes had to stay full of confidence of our swift rescue. So I joked and we talked and I kept acting as if it is no big deal, people got stuck in elevators all the time and what a great story they were going to have to tell. We were rescued in only about 15 minutes, not by burly sexy firefighters I might add but by 2 guys from maintenance with tool belts and grimy hats. Once the doors were opened I had to actually hand the kids up to them and then get hoisted out myself, and after that we wisely took the stairs. I was proud of the kids though, there was no screaming and no crying, no breaking down. And when we left 1 hour later, they took a vote amongst themselves and decided that they wanted to give the elevator another chance. Phew, exercise avoided again!

1 comment:

Pamela said...

Wow!!! Very impressive....Damon came into work with me yesterday, and I had thoughts of the elevator getting stuck, because you're right....stairs are B O R I N G!