Saturday, April 04, 2009


“MrReesMrReesMrRees! I need you to come RIGHT NOW!!!” His shock of red hair ran toward us across the expanse between the playground and the picnic tables. We sat there for a moment, not certain what type of urgency his voice contained. We both stood, almost cautiously, scanning his face for an indication. “It’s your daughter. She’s hurt.”

We moved toward the playground, used to this scene. I wasn’t terribly concerned—she probably just needed some consoling, the mud wiped off her legs, the tears from her cheeks. Suffice it to say, we were not in any great hurry. Until we saw her coming toward us, another mother holding her up, nodding her head at us over the top of Bub’s. “It’s bad,” she mouthed to us. I looked at the arm my daughter was holding—bent in three angles, none of them natural. Oh shit, I breathed, breaking in to a dead run for the car.

Adrenaline pumping, I fought the various emotions that coursed through my veins as we drove to the closest urgent care. Fear, concern, anger—they came like a flood. “That was so stupid,” my daughter sobbed. “That was really, really stupid, Momma. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. That was really, really stupid.” You’re damn right, I wanted to yell. That was a stupid, stupid thing to do. What the hell were you thinking?!?! Do you have ANY idea what affects this will have?

I said nothing of the sort. “You need to calm down, Bub. You need to take a deep breath, and CALM DOWN. Nobody’s mad at you, Sweetpea. We’re just glad it’s nothing worse. You’re going to be fine.”

“What did I do, Momma, what did I do? What’s wrong with it? Momma, it hurts! I want to die! I want to die!!!”

“LISTEN TO ME. You need to take a deep breath and calm down. Your arm is broken. We’re going to take you to get it fixed. You’re going to be fine. You’re going to be FINE.” She’s going to be fine, she’s going to be fine, I repeat.

I called my brother. He was blessedly already in his car, three minutes away. He came for Buddy, who was near tears in his concern for his sister. “I think we should pray, Momma,” he said as we registered a few moments ago. “I think we should pray right now.” He would be fine in a few moments, but for a brief moment his world was crumbling. I prayed that mine won’t go with it.

Five hours, an ambulance transport, an admission to Children’s, and several doses of morphine later, my daughter is finally in surgery, having the compound fracture in her left arm set and cast. My left-handed daughter. I sit here alone in the parents’ waiting room listening to the fish tank gurgle and try not to obsess about what this latest lack of judgment is going to cost us.

What it is going to cost her has already been discussed throughout the afternoon. Championships are in three weeks. She will obviously miss them. Tryouts for the team, coming up this week—also off the calendar. Scratch the next session of gymnastics. Put the new skateboard on a shelf in the garage. She will pay for this dearly, as well.

I will resist the urge to comment any further. To lecture, to remind her that I’ve warned her this could happen if she did not choose to use the brain the good Lord gave her. “I didn’t think this would ever happen,” she repeated over and over, tears streaming down her face. “I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner,” her father and I both replied.

She has had a rough, rough afternoon, with a great deal of pain and fear. While I could have wrung her neck five hours ago, and still may consider it tomorrow, for now I think she has had punishment enough. I pray that the lesson sets along with the bone. It is not one I care to have us repeat any time soon.


Cindy said...

My stomach hurts and I'm feeling so sorry. A very hard lesson indeed.

lorie said...

indeed... my stomach STILL hurts... thanks, cindy...