Growing up I acquired a certain nickname from my family that was unfortunately incredibly fitting based on my experiences. They called me – Gracie. While I was actually incredibly graceful in ballet, and a coordinated competitive cheerleader… somehow I couldn’t be trusted to walk without tripping over myself. I regularly fell down the stairs to the basement where our bedroom was, and slipped down the few wooden stairs to our family room – landing squarely on my butt, or somersaulting all the way to the bottom. It got to the point where my siblings were no longer even worried about me when they heard a loud scream and CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK down the stairs. My mom would inevitably gasp and come running to check on me – but everybody else was used to the drill.
I was also the same girl who tripped on the front stoop, slicing open my upper lip on the corner of our open storm door in second grade. The same girl who in fourth grade ripped open my lip in 3 places (and other places on my face & body) when I fell backwards off a swing (going very high, might I add), landing on a chain link fence – face first. It seemed my childhood was spent with stitches in my lips, and I have the scars to prove it.
While I like to think I outgrew my clumsiness – I’m pretty sure I haven’t. Because somehow, within weeks of meeting me James knew he had to take special care of me. This might have something to do with a few late nights out together that ended with me attempting to jump off a wall (spiderman style) and falling squarely on my side/face… Or maybe the time we were comparing how far back we could stretch and I went so far back as to actually land on my face/neck, with my feet still firmly planted on the ground. That’s right… a backbend with no arms. Totally painful. Not awesome at all. James thought it was intentional – until he realized from my muffled cries of “Help me!!! Help me!!” (because my mouth was planted on the floor & I could hardly muster any coherent words) that it was not meant to happen that way.
Following those incidents James started grabbing me to stop me from crossing the street without him, and insisted he carry anything heavy to prevent me from tripping and breaking myself and/or whatever I was carrying. When we shoot weddings he stands between me and the road to make sure I don’t back up into oncoming traffic. If I’m shooting on a pier, he grabs the back of my dress (like that will stop me from falling in). It always drives me crazy (which any of my couples who have witnessed it can attest to)… but now, I guess I kind of see the point.
Mostly because last night he left me alone for about 5 minutes to take Chloe out and I managed to create a scene reminiscent of a horror movie. All I wanted to do was throw away my tulips that had died, and wash the platter the mason jars were sitting on… but it didn’t go as planned. While washing the long platter, it slipped out of my hand and broke on the counter – resulting in large ceramic pieces falling to the floor – but not before slicing through my hand and thigh. The blood started pouring, ceramic pieces were everywhere, and I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I tried to stop the blood with a kitchen towel, but that isn’t easy to do when a cut on your right thigh and your left hand.
Eventually James came back in to find me sopping up blood and attempting to sweep up broken ceramic pieces – and immediately started laughing. This just proved it for the one millionth time that I earned my nickname, Gracie, and that I unfortunately had not outgrown it. He immediately ran to the store to pick up some more bandaids and first aid supplies for me, while I laid up on the couch with towels on my wounds to stop the bleeding.
What did I do without this man?! And why was he right?! I do need him – more than I’d like to admit. Also – I’m a total klutz. Dang it!