Carol Daniel

Have you ever felt like you lost time? A few hours or an entire weekend? It’s not hard to do and it’s not always a waste of time but even unexpected time spent in unexpected places will impact your calendar. Take for example, plans for a romantic dinner with you husband never getting off the ground because of one phone call.

It’s happened to you before – this shredding of the planned time – especially if you are a parent. The phone rings, your cell alerts you of a text, an email pops up on your screen at work. One of two worlds is contained in the message.

The world of uplifting, soul-stirring news, “Mommy, I got the job!” “Pops, you’re going to be a grandfather!” Or the world of gut-wrenching, panic-inducing news, “I wrecked the car.” “I lost my wallet.” But such news doesn’t always come from your kids. In my case, it came from my son’s friend’s mother. Got that?

My husband and I stopped to buy some coffee. I waited in the truck because we had just bought some furniture and it was strapped in the bed. Just as my husband was getting out, my cell phone rang and I answered. When I said the mother’s name, my husband stopped midway in and out of the front seat. My mind began to do what a mother’s mind does when her child is away from her and the phone rings

“Maybe they are going someplace we had not discussed and she’s just calling to ask if it’s okay?” I guess the look on my face drew my husband in because he stood there looking at me as if he was waiting for the news too, the look of slight concern on his face. I told him who it was and to go ahead into the store.

I turned my full attention back to the phone because I could tell in her voice that this wasn’t a call requesting permission for additional activity. Her voice remained calm and gentle all but confirmed for me that something had happened to my baby. My son who was almost born on the Poplar Street Bridge because I waited at home too long.

“Marcus was climbing a tree…”

This can’t be good, I thought.

“He fell and he has a big knot on his head and we think he should go to the emergency room.”

Is it bleeding? Is he there with you? Is he crying? Can I talk to him? I rattled off all the questions that came to mind while trying to stay calm myself knowing that I needed details to explain this to my husband.

She wanted to take him to the ER herself but we decided to meet halfway and I would take him. I’m still thinking, we may not have to go. I’ll judge that when I see him. But when I saw him, holding his arm with this terrible bump over his left eye, bits of grass and twigs still in his hair, my heart sank.

He wasn’t bleeding and he hadn’t cried but he did when he got in the car with us. I tried not to. Four hours later, we left Children’s Hospital with him in a soft cast and five pages of instructions. “If he vomits, if his mood changes, if headaches develop, if pain worsens.” He has a bad sprain, the bump went down after three days. He’d fallen about six feet while climbing down. I am still thanking God that he didn’t break his arm, crack his skull or break his neck.

Now, why was he climbing the tree in the first place when he and his friend told his mother they were going to the playground? You know I asked and pointed out to him his role in his injury. I’m still so thankful his injuries weren’t worse.

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