Where There Is Blood There Is Glory

When my daughter was five she had this bright idea to put both of her little brothers, Frac and Shale, into a 50 pound garden wagon and pull it down our sloped driveway. Where the heck I was at the time, I have no idea, because clearly, letting a five year old run amok with her four year old and two year old brothers is the height of fine parenting.

I do remember where I was when I heard the subsequent commotion involving blood curdling screams and the desperate cries of "Mom! Mommy! MOOOOOOM!"

I raced outside to find my daughter had been flattened by the wagon while her brothers sat on top of her. Like the good mother I obviously am, I turned back into the house while my heart tried to jackhammer out of my chest and calmly told my husband, "It's your turn."

The idea of something horrible happening to my daughter was just not a thought I could bear. At that point in my life, Shale spent more time in the hospital than out of it and we were still doing daily trips to various doctors to ensure he lived. My stress level couldn't handle one more medical crisis and thankfully my husband was home to take the reigns. While I may have failed my daughter in that moment, my cowardice provided my husband with a moment of shiny parental glory.

Daddy saved the day.

Boo raced outside, pulled the wagon off his daughter and scooped her up and into the house to assess the damage. The image of her burrowing her face into her dad's chest while sobbing about how the garden wagon was trying to kill her still haunts me to this day. (Okay, maybe that image doesn't haunt me but I remember it vividly. Details.)

Once inside, my husband sat my daughter on the seat of the toilet to assess the damage and calm his child down. Once the sobbing subsided I finally managed to locate the testicles I often borrow from my husband and I swallowed my fear to check on my kid.

I walked into the bathroom to find my daughter happily smiling as her dad plucked large chunks of gravel from my daughter's knee which was now gaping wide open, in what could be described as a grotesque smile.

The sight of my daughter's insides staring back at me combined with all the blood and I just about passed out. Apparently being the mother to a medically fragile boy did not make me immune to typical childhood blood letting.

"Look Mom! You can see the imprint of the wagon wheels on my leg!" And she was right.

Boo looked at me, saw my horrified look and surrendered. "Don't worry, I'll take her to the hospital." I have never loved that man more than I did in that moment. 12 stitches and a lollipop later and my daughter was as good as new. Even better since she now had a personal war story, which she broadcasted to anyone with ears within a two-foot radius of her.

Two weeks later and she was putting her brothers back in that danged wagon. Only this time, she didn't pull the wagon down the hill, she stood behind it and pushed her brothers down the hill while yelling after them, "Hang on tight or the wagon will squish you too!"

It's a bloody miracle my children have survived as long as they have.

Parenting is a blood sport and there are no medals involved. There is no room for the faint of heart because life has a cruel way of not caring who it takes as its prisoner.

Yesterday, as I sat in a hospital with one son, I received a phone call from the principal of my teens' school informing me my other son was being rushed to a different hospital.

As Jumby's doctor watched my face transform into one of horror, the principal explained that my son was in an accident at the school and could I take him to the hospital. After explaining to him that I was too far away to be of any use, he asked for permission to take my son himself.

My heart was once again jack hammering out of my chest in what is now an all too familiar pattern.

It wasn't until the principal was about to hang up and race off with my child that I had the presence of mind to blurt out, "Wait? What happened?"

And that is when he uttered the one sentence every mother in the world never wants to hear:

"There was an accident with your son involving a band saw in shop class. There is a lot of blood. He needs to be seen by a doctor."

Which is how I ended up flying from one hospital to another and losing about a decade of my life in the process.

By the time I saw my son details had emerged. Something about a blade slipping, him trying to yank his hand away and stitches were required. A lot of stitches. But his fingers remain on his hand,which remains on the end of his arm, so it could have been worse.

I already have a toothless wonder for one son. I do not need a fingerless fool as the other son. Even I have my limits.

As Frac sat with his hand wrapped in thick gauze, he explained to me how the accident happened. I was still stuck on one little detail.

"Dude. I didn't even know you were taking shop class! Shouldn't I have signed a permission slip?" I mean, wouldn't it seem wise to require a parent's permission when granting hormonal thirteen year olds access to power tools during school hours?

"Um, you did Mom. You signed off on this. It was either band or shop class, remember?" Clearly, I don't.

"I gave you the form to sign in the morning before I left for school. You signed it," he huffed indignantly as though it were all my fault he almost hacked off his fingers in class.

Obviously the lesson here is for my children to never hurl papers at me to sign first thing in the morning. Because clearly I will sign anything when I'm bleary eyed and in desperate need of a caffeine fix.

"Well it's done now," I sighed as eyed his bandaged paw. "You do realize what this means now, right?"

He looked at me quizzically. "No what?"

"You're forever going to be known as THAT kid in Shop class. The one who almost hacked off his fingers," I cautioned him gently, not wanting him to be hurt over the cruelness of his junior high compatriots.

Frac looked up at me and positively beamed with delight.

"That is so cool. I'm totally awesome. Can I go phone my friend now?"

There may be no medals involved in the gory details of parenthood, but how could I forget the badge of honor that comes along with stitches when one is a child?

As my daughter would say, "Like, D'uh, Mom."