Don't Blink

*It's another of my tragically long posts, but it's worth it at the end. I promise.*

For a smart girl, I sure have my fair share of dumb moments. Worse yet, they sneak up on me and I'm actually surprised by how dumb something I just did really was.

Take for example, dumb moment #2704 this past week. In my haste to get to the hospital after Cowboy's accident, I completely forgot about my children and the fact that they would be bouncing off a school bus sometime around 4:30, expecting fresh baked cookies and a warm embrace from their loving mother.

All right. So I'm exaggerating. While fresh baked cookies may cause their heads to explode, they would be expecting to see my increasingly wide arse sitting on the couch, riveted by the drama taking place on Young and The Restless and for me shushing them to be quiet as I tried to hear what my man Jack had to say.

Somehow, with a gaping eye wound, a cute doctor and a worried best friend, I forgot I had given birth to needy little humans who require nourishment and parental supervision.

With just seconds minutes to spare before the kids were released into the wild and herded onto their yellow bus, I managed to remember to make childcare arrangements, phone the school, intercept their release and redirect them in a direction where there would actually be an adult to feed and protect them.

(Gotta love having a sister-in law who lives across the street from the school.)

I felt pretty good about myself, actually. Look at me, handling a medical emergency, supporting my friends in a time of need and remembering to be a good mommy all at the same time. I freaking rock. In my head, the government was laying roses at my feet as they placed a sparkly rhinestone encrusted tiara on my head while tossing needy children into my arms.

Whose your momma now, I thought to myself. You know, because a girl can never get too cocky.

Fast forward several hours and the Cowboy was in surgery to have his eye stitched back together and I figured it would be a good time to phone my kids and reestablish contact. You know, remind them who's boss. Just in case they were thinking of trading me in for the prettier, kinder version that is their aunt.

I had honestly assumed because I am a dumbass like that they would have heard what had happened to their Cowboy Uncle and I wouldn't be springing this trauma on them out of the blue.

I had completely forgotten that my increasingly mature children are in fact, children, and still bear the scars of burying a brother and may harbour some residual fear when it comes to hospitals.

Hours of stress from trying to avoid looking at a gaping eyeball oozing blood and pus and tears and from stupidly guzzling several pots of hospital coffee all combined to rob me of any parental common sense I had. It was like a zombie beat me with the stupid stick and gained control of my brain.

After informing my sister in law of Cowboy's situation, I asked her if I could speak to either Fric or Frac. She reached out and grabbed the nearest kiddo, who just happened to be my beautiful son, Frac.

"Hey buddy! How was school," I asked Frac. He prattled on about how many girls he chased around the schoolyard and other important ten-year-old gossip, before remembering that I wasn't home.

"Where are you Mom?" So innocent my son is. So stupid his mother is. I never even thought to edit the situation. I just blurted it out like the dumbass I am.

"Oh? Nobody told you?" I asked, surprised as I tried to jam my foot in my mouth. (Of course no one told them. Other adults don't want to deal with the emotional baggage of damaged preteens. That or they have the common sense filter God was handing out to everyone as I sat in a corner and picked my nose.)

"Well, Cowboy had a bad accident at work-" That was as far as I got before Frac had a grade A, full-fledged, snotty nosed melt down. You would have thought someone had told him a few years ago that his brother died on the way to the hospital in the middle of the night or something.

Oh. Right. Someone did. That would have been me. So, um, the question begs, HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOT THAT SMALL DETAIL?

Eventually, after much cajoling and consoling, I explained to my son that unlike his baby brother, his favorite uncle was in no danger of dying. It took a few tries before I successfully convinced him that the man who routinely tosses him around like a rag doll wouldn't be saying hello to Bug in person anytime soon before Frac finally calmed down.

For all of two seconds. Then he asked what had happened to his uncle and this is where that zombie came back and beat me with the stupid stick again because you know, once, apparently, IS not enough for me to learn my lesson.

"Well, Frac, you know what a chisel is, right?"

"Ya, it's that sharp metal tool Dad uses to whittle wood with," Frac answered.

"Good boy," his dumbass mother prattled on, "well, a chisel came flying out of nowhere when your Uncle was at work and it came to a stop in his eye. Sliced that sucker right in half. Squished it like a grape-"

Commence grade A, full fledged, snotty nosed melt down #2.

The government was taking back my tiara and snatching back the roses and babies in my imagination as I realized the mental image I had just colorfully painted for my TEN-year old son.

It's simply amazing how stupid I can be sometimes. I'd almost be proud if I wasn't so damn embarrassed.

After a sprouting a few more grey hairs and new wrinkles, I managed to calm Frac down and convince his uncle would be fine. This time I took particular care not to gross the kid out or share how his eyeball looked as it gaped wide open.

I told Frac how much we all loved him and how I would be home soon, and reminded him to say his prayers and brush his teeth at bedtime and generally tried to act like the mother I should be instead of the twit I was.

Just when I thought I was home free, he put his sister on the line. You would have thought I learned from Frac's reaction to self-edit what I spewed to my daughter.

You'd have thought wrong.

A prepubescent eleven-year-old girl wails longer and louder than her ten-year-old brother. Just in case you were wondering.

Late that night, after learning the Cowboy's eye had been saved and now it was just a wait and see game to see if he retains any sort of vision in his eye, I opened the door to my empty house, where only the animals awaited me and I thanked God for my health and the health and safety of my family and I poured myself a large glass of wine.

As I gulped slowly savored the burgundy and listened to my phone messages, I reflected on how scarred my children are and how my family, my children in particular, are more aware than most adults around them, that life really can change in a blink of an eye.

Illustrated by the fact that as I tried to erase the mental image of chisels and gaping eye wounds and the wounded cries of my heart broken children, a sweet voice on the telephone congratulated Boo and I for FINALLY BEING APPROVED FOR ADOPTION AND MOVING INTO THE CHILD MATCHING STAGE.

Life really does change in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it throws a chisel at you and other times it tosses a child.

*Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes. I'll let you know what happens with Cowboy's vision. And of course, I will let you know when they match us with a child. Keep your fingers crossed it will be sooner rather than later. That is, unless of course, the government reads this and decides I'm too stupid to parent a potato let alone a needy child.*