It Only Takes A Moment
It’s been busy here lately, and rather than blog utter crap I haven’t blogged at all.
Today, though, I felt like blogging even though I’m not sure what I have to say. Lucky you (or not). We’ll find out together whether there’s a story here. Today, there’s no editing. No over thinking. I’m going to set some words free and then I’m pushing that “Publish” button.
I was already a bit behind on blogging, my focus needed for family, life and some other writing endeavors. I felt like I was moving at warp speed, focusing on all of it and none of it simultaneously.
Then, around 6:15 Monday night my world stopped momentarily. The blog, the writing, my life and everything in between disappeared.
We were sitting at dinner, about to give the boys their little Valentines treats. P, who is 21 months old, was strapped into his booster seat, and the seat was, of course, strapped to the dining chair. In his excitement over presents (“Prays!” he says), P pushed his feet against the table and launched straight back, like a tree falling in the forest.
And let me tell you, it makes a sound when the tree falls. It sounds like a clap of lightning followed by screaming. So much screaming.
I launched out of my own chair, my husband later noting that I looked like a cartoon version of myself, feet spinning, the air moving like a tornado around me. I bashed my arm on another chair, my hip on the table, nearly slipped, and narrowly missed falling on top of my wailing child, who was still strapped in his chair.
Mark and I reached P simultaneously. Mark undid the buckles while I scooped P, mouth wide with a scream, into my arms. Instinctively I put my hand on the back of his head. Within a second or two I registered warmth and wetness.
Blood. And lots of it.
According to witnesses (okay, just Mark), my face went from Mom-Fear-Thinly-Veiled-as-Mom-Comfort to Blank to Panic in a sort of slow motion montage.
We assessed the wound and realized that an ER trip was imminent. As only parents can do, we put on our grown up pants, made our faces calm and our voices even. We rallied older brother, H, into the car and gently loaded P into his seat.
I had this bizarre internal debate with myself over strapping him into his car seat. I wanted to hold him, but I knew that I could not risk further injury should we have an accident on the way to the ER. The debate didn’t last long, but deciding to put him in a car seat made me ache, deep in my chest, down through my gut. The mom soul.
Once again I was reminded that there is no end to a mother’s ability to feel… what? To feel pain, guilt, fear, doubt. And to feel strength, courage, faith.
The rest of the story is standard fare, thank God. P calmed down as soon as the car started rolling. He talked about the lights and cars we saw on the way, and I was reassured. A mother’s mind automatically goes to brain injury when her child’s head splits open. It was comforting to hear him chatter, to see him coherently take in his surroundings.
In the end, P got two staples in his head. He took them like a champ, sat up and said, “Home. Night-night.” Mark and I looked at him and said, “Yes, sir. That is exactly what we have in mind.”
And then I choked back a sob of grateful relief.
This was not our first trip to the ER. It was not even our first trip with P. Twice before – before this most recent incident – I’ve felt time freeze and had fear render me temporarily blind, numb, breathless.
Twice, and now a third time, we’ve been abundantly blessed. The accidents, while scary in the moment, have been mild. Things often look way worse than they are. Yet another lesson motherhood hands us.
In my life with this little daredevil, danger magnet, I’m sure there will be more scary moments. And I will never be prepared for any of it. How could I be?
My prayer, though, is that it’s never scarier than this. That when it’s all said and done, we’ll be laughing, joking about our little Massive Headwound Harry, and saying prayers of thanksgiving that the world only stopped for a moment. And that once it started turning again, we were all whole, healthy and together.