The driveway and sidewalks–every path we try–stretches out black and shiny, smooth as glass, and treacherous. Ten of us set out for school, and by the time we reach the corner, we’ve fallen down six times (some of us twice).
The danger is real, and I’m nervous.
“Hold on to me!” I cry to the little ones. We find another mitten to grab or another arm to link through, and we suddenly stabilize. When one starts to slide and fall, the others catch him, find a new balance, and press on.
Instead of falling on our backs, our sliding on ice resembles smooth acrobatics: our legs shoot out from under us, but then someone has our back and we bend forward and backward. Arms flail and clutch, yet we do not fall.
Every child laughs. Even I can’t help but enjoy this treachery. It’s now an adventure, a pleasure.
I think about the strength in numbers. I think about finding others to balance us as we flail and clutch the air. Holding hands and shoulders, we approach the crossing guard who warns us of an upcoming stretch of ice to avoid. We walk a wide circle around it, arm in arm.
Safe at school, I recall what it takes to get here. The danger was real, but we overcame together. Nobody can make it alone.
Journal: With whom do I lock arms on my journey? What dangers am I facing that friends can help me battle?