"No, you don't," Spousal Unit insisted. "You were four."
But I do.
It was the day of my preschool Valentine's party. I was probably bursting out of my skin with excitement, as Mom had made a cake for the party. She's an amazing decorator of all things, cakes included. She made them for everyone's birthdays, for anniversaries, for weddings, and they looked like a professional (who actually gave a damn) had made them. This wee round Valentine's cake was the same. If I remember right, it was two tiers, placed on a silver cake board with scalloped edges. The cake itself was on the small side (because preschoolers don't need much sugar to be rendered gibbering masses of energy), but the decorations were stunning: handmade roses and lots of those silver leaf decorations so popular in the '80s.
In short, it was gorgeous, and four-year-old me was way impressed.
This February morning was cold, as winter should be (none of this oh-hey-let's-see-some-rain-just-for-funsies crap). The two of us bundled up. Mom held the cake in one hand and grasped me with the other, and we ventured out.
We lived in an apartment at the time, and we stomped across the snowy complex to the garages. I imagined that my mittens were endowed with magic powers, and that simply by donning them, I had enormous strength (later, someone wrote a book about that, but they got my name wrong). At some point on our trek to the garage, I let go of Mom's hand - probably to investigate something an adult would consider very boring.
When I had sated my curiosity, I went back to her, She had gone around one of the apartment buildings, and as I turned the corner, I saw her sitting on the icy pavement, not terribly disheveled, but clearly upset at having fallen.
The cake was upside down on the ground.
I don't recall being sad about that, at least not right away. When I saw her, the first thing I said was, "Mom! You should have been holding on to my strong mittens."
She was, is, and always will be pretty amazing, that lady. She picked me up, put me in my car seat, and drove me to preschool for the party. Then she drove herself to the hospital.
She did all of this with a broken sacrum.
She told me later she almost passed out when she put me in the car. Moms do pretty amazing things for their kids. Love you, Mom.