Having a Child Cured Me of My Klutziness

By Estelle Erasmus

Up until my forties, I was always that girl: the one not quite in control of her body, even though I rushed around as if I were racing against time itself.

I was that girl who would stumble, trip, then land on her face.

“I’m a klutz,” I would tell people, laughing, before I learned that it was not a good idea to label yourself because then people will laugh at you, not with you.

At a summer soirée in my 30s, I recklessly jumped into a hammock, only to have it flip over and land me flat on my butt. My dignity and other parts bruised, I then sat down on a sheet of ice that had been used to keep the lobsters that were being served fresh. I smelled of the ocean as I flirted my way through the party that night.

I was the embodiment of the absentminded professor, living more in my head than in my body—”flighty” was a word often used to describe the facile machinations of my mind, which leapt from subject to subject as gracefully as a high-wire acrobat might leap from one tightrope to the next, spinning around in midair as a new thought arrived.

The constant chatter in my brain (my teacher at my weekend course at the School of Practical Philosophy called it “monkey mind”) felt comfortable. I couldn’t stand to be without it, rushing out of yoga classes when I was told to quiet my mind and my mind wouldn’t cooperate.

Read more of my piece onThe Mid

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13 thoughts on “Having a Child Cured Me of My Klutziness”

  1. Oh my gosh– great piece, Estelle! I’m glad you have comments open here so we can tell you. I’m mixed on no comments at The Mid. In some ways it’s refreshing, but I’m such a commenter . . . so in other ways after I read a friend’s piece I feel kind of at a loss.

  2. Pregnancy does cause what I call “biochemical brainwashing.” Activating the Mom Mind is different for everyone, but it does happen. Me, I found out what happiness feels like. Maybe we are lucky enough to have had becoming a mother give us what we were missing and needed most of all, in many ways.

  3. I am STILL a klutz and I’m rapidly approaching 62 years young. I’ve learned that its just a part of my personality. At least … that’s what I keep telling myself.

  4. Of course, I have to be different! It’s been quite a few years since I had a child, but your post reminded how I always used to say that once I gave birth my mind went out the window because my children ( I had three of them, three years in a row), had taken over and nothing else could ever get in there.

  5. I’ve had three kids and now three grandsons and am still a klutz, with bruises all over my body (which I never know how they got there). My husband swears strangers probably think he abuses me.

    For the record, hammocks are about the most difficult thing to maneuver, in my mind! Such stress to get in for a little relaxation then the stress of figuring out how to get the hell out.

  6. I am still recovering from my latest fall, although I found that my balance and instability issues became more pronounced since having kids, 25 years ago. I look at it as a message to slow down. FYI: I could’t get the link to the rest of the article to work for me 🙁

  7. You’ve described me…I can’t even count how many times I’ve fallen. And now that I’m “older,” I have to admit to being a wee bit paranoid. I recently went flying over someone’s suitcase when they cut in front of me at Grand Central. NOT fun.

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