When I was 5 or 6 years old, my older brother and I liked walking on the ice covering rice field in cold winter back in Korea. My brother was so much more adventurous than me and would walk first on the ice. I used to follow him closely by stepping exact spots that he already stepped on.
It was one warm winter day when we were doing our usual ice walking. My brother accidentally stepped on a thin ice spot and fell right through the crack. His clothes became really wet and we had to rush home. I don’t remember whether he was crying or caught a cold after that.
Last Sunday, our family went to Santa Cruz. We have never intended to go near the ocean. Initially we were just walking and/or riding a scooter along the shore called ‘Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’. However, we saw stairs leading to a nice sand beach. We took those steps with absolutely no preparation of extra towel or extra clothes. John and kids went off to the ocean as I was sitting in the middle of sand while keeping family’s belongings.
I was probably watching something on my phone. All of a sudden I hear Eliza’s crying. Behold, what I see - completely soaked Eliza walking toward me crying. Oh my God! She must have slipped in the water.
My mother instinct kicked in.
I usually wear multi-layers of clothes because I am always cold. People who know me will tell you I would not be taking off any of my clothes on the windy beach. But this is an emergency. I took off my jacket; I took off my hood t-shirt. Ouch, so cold, but it’s nothing compared to the freezing cold Eliza is feeling. Anyway, I took off Eliza’s wet jacket & shirts, and gave my hood to her. Then I took off her wet pants. Eliza is now ready to rush back to the warm car.
I wanted John to hold her, but he wanted to carry her on his shoulder. I knew that is not a good option because the wind will make Eliza feel more freezing. I took her back from John and piggybacked her in my back making sure her stomach and my back are attached so that we both feel warm. Then I put my big jacket on Eliza’s back to keep both of us warm.
I carried her all the way back to the car, at least 1 mile walk, while John carried two scooters, all of Eliza’s clothes, etc. Oh boy, on Sunday I did all my workout for the month! What is amazing is that Ethan didn’t complain about that long-walk at all, not even once. Instead, he was helping out carrying a couple of small items.
What went through my mind in the moments of mother instinct? Instead of ‘what if Eliza gets sick?’, I was thinking ‘how my in-laws will respond if Eliza gets sick?’
All in all, thankfully Eliza turned out to be fine. No cold, no flu. God’s grace.