‘Hmm, this might be a bit hard to get home, Mia.’
I was at the post office with Mia strapped to my chest in her baby carrier. We considered the package that the post office had brought out. It was too large to fit into the shopping bag that I brought to carry it. It was covered in tape that said ‘FRAGILE’.
The person being me in the post office queue kindly handed me the box so that I could awkwardly hold in front of Mia.
Two minutes later I put the box down on a bench and repositioned it to rest on my head and right shoulder.
I had my first major wobble in front of the pub. By the time I got to the noodle takeaway shop, I was very nervous. The smart thing would have been to leave the package at the post office and come back later without Mia. Too late, though.
I slipped my hand under and around some of the packing tape and used it like a handle for the next 300 metres.
When I saw the tape stretching longer and thinner, I jammed my hand into the top flap to carry the box at my side. Five minutes later I changed tact again, digging both my hands into the taped up sides of the top flap to carry it in front of Mia.
I kept imagining the crash of glass if the flaps or stuck tape failed.
At the last big intersection from home, a lady looked at me sympathetically.
‘Do you want help carrying it across the road?’ she asked.
‘Would you?’ I replied immediately and gratefully. She took the box of me easily and we walked across toward her office.
On the other side, she asked, ‘Where are you headed?’
‘That building over there,’ I pointed about 300 metres away.
‘I’ll carry it there,’ she offered.
I was so happy as we passed another roundabout, crossed a street, unlocked and went through two doors and up a flight of stairs.
‘Thank you! I have no idea how I would have gotten through those doors. That’s your good deed for the day.’
‘You’re welcome,’ she said as she put the box down and left to go back to work.