Last week, I was out with my 8-year-old son, Emerson, when, out of nowhere, an SUV skidded out of control and pinned him to the pavement. Some deep maternal instinct kicked in, and suddenly I was overcome with superhuman strength. Here are some of the things I lifted.
1. A concrete bench
Look, I now know that I should’ve lifted up the car that was crushing my son, but I didn’t realize that in the heat of the moment—it’s not like I had time to sit down and think things through. So I decided to lift up a huge concrete bench and carry it over my head for a while. Emerson was screaming, and I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do.
2. A mailbox
And not just any mailbox—it was one of those big metal USPS ones that they have bolted into the sidewalk, and it was full of mail. When I saw my special little guy pinned under that car, I ripped this mailbox right out of the ground and shook it wildly over my head. Letters were flying everywhere. I am 5-foot-4 and 118 pounds.
3. A different car
I heard Emerson yelling at me to pick up the car, and so I did. But it turned out that it was a different car. There was an elderly couple inside of it, which I realized almost immediately, but my hysterical strength had pretty much taken over, and I flipped the car onto its roof and proceeded to kick massive dents into the doors.
4. A soft-serve machine
There was an ice cream shop right there, so I walked in and ripped the soft-serve machine out of the floor and tossed it in circles over my head like pizza dough. A mother is capable of extraordinary things when her child is in danger. I wish Emerson had been trapped under that soft-serve machine instead of the car.
5. A discarded Wendy’s cup
This wasn’t heavy at all, but I picked it up anyway and waved it around in the air.
6. The responding EMT
Emergency crews were on the scene within minutes, and I stormed right over to the first EMT I saw and bench-pressed him high in the air. I slammed him against the side of the ambulance and carried him probably three or four blocks. Luckily, the other EMTs who responded were able to attend to Emerson while I was throwing their colleague into an awning. I was so strong you wouldn’t believe it. I wish there was a video of this.
7. A soft-serve machine, again
At this point, things get a little blurry in my memory, but I recall going back into the ice cream shop and once again hoisting the soft-serve machine over my head. Ice cream was dripping all over my face, and everybody was screaming. Firefighters and EMTs had already rescued my son. I stayed really strong for probably another hour.