Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

May 07, 2010

moving mountains

When Celine was four years old she helped her mother stop the family car from rolling over her sister, and the incident remained in her mind as an example of the extraordinary strengths that people display in extraordinary circumstances.

"I'm not saying that anything I did as a four year old child saved my sister that day," laughs Celine. "I'm just saying that I remember the sheer determination I had to push that car as hard as I could, and ever since it's been my vocation in life, I suppose, to move mountains."

"My father was at the wheel of the car - revving it up and backing it out of the garage - and my sister, two years older than myself, had somehow got herself trapped under it. Maybe she was playing hide and seek - I don't remember. Anyway, she started screaming and mom and I ran to the garage."

"Mom was yelling out to dad to stop the car but he couldn't hear her."

"She got behind the car and starting pushing it forward and yelled at me to push as hard as I could with her."

"I remember breathing in a lot of exhaust fumes and feeling sick," relates Celine, "but I was determined to push that car off my sister and make mom proud of me."

"My sister was lucky that she wasn't caught under the wheels - she was just under the chassis," says Celine. "And when dad finally saw what mom was doing he stopped the car and pulled my sister out safely."

"I've read stories where tiny little mothers have physically lifted a car off a child," says Celine, "and I can believe it. My mom was so fired up that day I think she could have pushed that car right through the far end of the garage wall!"

"In later life I've used that incident to remind myself that I, too, can physically move a mountains if I needed to."

"I took up body building at seventeen and have prided myself on being trim, taut and terrific even since," says Celine, "but it's not muscles that matter in extraordinary circumstances. It's willpower."

"I just thought that having muscles - or just a strong body - would help if ever something like that happened to me when I had kids. The incident really did leave a lasting impression upon me."

"My party trick was to sling guys over my back," laughs Celine. "The bigger the guy the better I felt about being able to lift him."

"As it turned out, I never did have to lift a car off any of my three kids," says Celine. "And I didn't have to drag my husband from a burning house, either. But I have put my extraordinary strength - and willpower - to the test."

"We live in the country and last summer I decided to do something about the boulders at the back of the house."

"My husband said he'd get a guy in to blast the rocks to smithereens - but I wanted to prove myself. I wanted to do something extraordinary just like my mom had done."

"I looked long and hard at those boulders - I sized them up - and I psyched myself up."

"I knew I didn't have the strength to physically pick them up - but I did have the willpower to move them - and I did move them by using leverage."

"Inch by inch, slowly and surely, I moved those boulders to exactly where I wanted them to be," says Celine.

"Each boulder must have weighed as much as a car," says Celine, "and my husband didn't bat an eyelid when he saw what I had done."

"He knew I could do it."

"In moving those boulders, I gave my kids the same lesson that my mom had given me."

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