"Yep, I see it."
The doctor points to the exam room and I scoop C up mid-run for the next part of the appointment.
She clambers up onto the exam table and he starts checking her hips for alignment--or rather, checks them for a lack of alignment to explain the hitch in her gait.
"We could do some x-rays but it probably wouldn't help at this point," he says, frowning at her apparently symmetrical pelvis, "Could be neurological."
I had a housemate in college who was a stone, cold fox.
I maybe had a few weeks in 1995 when I was a solid 7. I may even still be a 6 for those who are attracted to sturdiness and sarcasm. But, truly, I'm a 5* most days..at best.
My friend, J, is a solid 10--perhaps an 11. Back then she looked like a veela as interpreted by one of those pervy animators responsible for the Disney princesses.
Living with her was just how I imagine it would be to run a base camp at Everest. Hordes of men show up all aflutter with adventure and conquest on their minds. Even those who are vanquished can't talk about anything else but the next try. The ones with any sense stay far away.
I won't lie, my ego was definitely bruised up by the end of it but I came away with a solid understanding some basic truths.
Comparing yourself to other people is a short road to disappointment.
*In case it's not obvious, I'm including this as a bit of a sly wink--I am, however, serious about the sarcasm part.
It was probably intended in the spirit of upward mobility that marks members of the middle class but, it still seems like a bad idea to me, especially now that I'm a mother myself.
On my second birthday my mom went to the trouble to get out my baby book and a pen and note that I "still had a miserable personality" but "had shown some improvement lately."
Guess who doesn't have a baby book of her own? What would I have written in there during her first year?
C still defies expectations by continuing to be alive. She's alive!!!! She's alive!!!
It's still the predominant thought in my head when I look at her--holy shit! She's still here! Please, please let her continue to exist.
Right after we were pounded by the fickle sledgehammer of fate, I gathered up my tiny daughter and ran as fast as I could away from the trouble. Along the way I've done my best to shed her lingering association with loss and grief.
I've ditched any hard-wired expectations.
I don't compare her to other children as a matter of principle.
Those things just slow you down.
And now I've charged face-first into the enormous, spiky outstretched fist of the universe.
I can't escape the notion that I've been making this all about me this whole time.
It could be neurological.
Is that better or worse than a deformed pelvis?