Regina’s Writings: Ice Puddle

By M. Regina Cram

It was a cloudy December morning, and the children had just finished watching “Sesame Street.” I had to mail a package so I grabbed our jackets and proceeded to the post office.

I’d been curious about an old road I’d seen on a local map, so afterward, we headed to investigate. The girls, ages 4 and 1, chattered happily as we drove past old farmhouses and apple orchards into a winter wonderland. The houses disappeared behind us as we continued through the sparkling woods.

According to the map, we should have emerged after a mile or two. Instead, the woods had become a thick forest. The road was tightly hemmed by huge pines, and it banked steeply down to half-frozen swamps. It occurred to me that we might be in trouble.

The four-year-old piped up from the back seat. “Are we gettin’ lost, Mama?” I didn’t dare answer. The road beneath us was covered in ice and was no longer paved. My only option was to continue deeper into the forest until we emerged on the other side or the path widened enough to turn around.

“Please help us, Lord,” I silently prayed. “Protect these little ones from my foolishness.” This was no longer a fun adventure. I was scared.

We finally came to a small clearing. Breathing a prayer of thanks, I began a three-point turn and promptly spun my tires in the arctic slush. We were stuck.

There I was, deep in a forest with two babies, no water, and minimal winter clothing. Not my finest hour.

I put the baby into the infant backpack, cinched the hood, and tugged the sleeves over her tiny hands. She was perfectly happy.

We found an abandoned hat under the four-year-old’s seat (thank you, Lord). I zipped her jacket and explained that we’d hike out until we found help.

To combat our fear, we sang. We belted out “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Jesus Loves Me,” and “The Backwards CBA.” We sang about how God is always watching over us, and about a guy who got stuck on the subway because he didn’t have a nickel to get off. As we sang, our fear dissolved.

We walked a long time before we came upon a farmhouse. “I’ve got a truck,” the owner remarked when I described my folly. “The guy across the street has a chain, and together, we can tow your van out of the woods.” I was flabbergasted at their generosity.

In the end, we were able to rock the van out of the icy mud. After many and profuse thanks, the girls and I headed home.

Sitting in our warm kitchen an hour later as the baby banged pots and pans, the four-year-old said with a mischievous grin, “That was a stupid idea, Mama. I’m not s’posed to say ‘stupid,’ but that was a stupid idea.”

Yes, it was. And yet God, in His tenderness, cared for us despite my foolishness. God is so good.

M. Regina Cram is a published author and parishioner of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish.