I’ve been sucking it up and just getting on with things all week while I recover from ear surgery and it reminded me of a day where I was horrible and mean and terrible to Britt and demanded that he suck it up. Years ago we went on an early season snowboard trip. The mountain was barely covered. A lot of rocks were still exposed but the ones that weren’t only had a few inches of snow over them. So of course we thought this would be a great time to for us to jump off of rocks and small little drop offs.
Late in the day I was following him down and was waiting up above on the mountain as he rode through a little chute and disappeared but I he never rode out below. I snowflaked my board down to his drop off point to check on him. He was lying in the snow, moaning in pain.
“Oh my gosh, what happened?”
Gritting his teeth he told me that he had landed on a rock. “I can’t move my leg. It’s so bad.”
So there we were, still high up on the mountain, the winter sun getting low. It would be dark soon. My over reactive fight or flight survival instinct kicked in. I did what I always do during difficult times, I turned into a psycho survival robot who has absolutely no time or humanity to coddle the helpless.
“Britt, get up. We’ve got to get down before it gets dark.”
“I can’t babe, I swear to god. I can’t even get up, my leg is numb.”
I took a deep uncalming breath and watched the sun dip below the mountain. It was getting colder. Laser beams began shooting out of my eyes at Britt. My robot voice got low and clear. My robot mouth over enunciated every word.
“Britt,” I commanded “You need to Suck. It. Up. Be a man, not a little girl. I’ll help you up and then you need to just ease your way down this mountain. I refuse to be stuck up here after dark.”
He looked up at me hurt and shocked. “Okay, Jesus. Help me stand at least.”
I rode a little bit down the hill and turned to wait for him.
“Now!” Sunde the survival robot shouted up at him.
Britt began inching his way down the mountain and slowly, we made it to the car.
“You don’t understand babe, it’s so bad. Can you drive?”
I rolled my robot laser eyes and started the truck. “Okay Britt. You’re being a bit dramatic, you’re fine.”
Back at the rental house I was making dinner while Britt changed. I caught a glimpse of him in the mirror and ran over to him.
“Oh my gosh, Britt! Let me see, it’s so bad!”
I looked down at his butt and leg and immediately came to terms with the fact that I was the worst.
“I told you!” he replied righteously.
I looked at the injury. It had only been a couple of hours since it had happened and already a dark purple and blue bruise had spread from his butt down to his knee like a cloud of squid ink. In the middle of the bruise was a red tangerine sized bump.
He glared at me.
“Well I’m sorry! I had to get us down the mountain. We could have died up there!”
It was Britt’s turn to roll his eyes. He shook his head and limped into the kitchen to go silently eat his dinner. In the years since, he has brought up this event over and over to remind me that I could maybe have a little bit more compassion during difficulty. So I’m saying it now, I’m sorry Britt! And I will try to remember to not be a psycho survival robot and to have more compassion for myself when I need it too.