By Catie of Woman Links
With parenthood comes the unshakable knowledge that no one will ever love or care for your child in the same way you do. Sometimes when parenting gets tricky, this belief can become a tad distorted; that no one else can care for your child.
This was one of “Those Weeks” where I felt emotionally and spiritually run over. It was just not fun at all. By Wednesday, I was wondering how to make a worm hole in time so that I could get to the end of it. Just when I thought things could not possibly get worse, they did. Much, much worse.
While dressing, I heard the unmistakable cry of a child in trouble. Half dressed, I flew down the stairs to find my oldest son on the floor between the couch and rocking chair, screaming in pain. As soon as he saw me, he reached to be picked up. Some would argue I should have left him on the floor until determining if any bones were broken. When you see a little face distorted in fear, and arms reaching for you, all rational thought processes go out the door. Mama Lion was awoken.
As he rose, and moved his hand from the back of his head, we both noticed it was drenched in blood. Now, one note on my son…he is the sweetest, most compassionate little soul you could meet, but he has no tolerance for pain of any kind and cannot bear the site of an injury to himself. You can imagine the level of horror and pain at the sight of his blood-covered hand.
It seems as though my boys were standing on the couch, pretending to be jousting knights when my youngest made contact with his imaginary lance, propelling my oldest over the couch arm, careening into the wooden rocker. We learned that wood can cut skin this week.
I managed to calm and still him long enough to stop the bleeding, get my husband home from work, get myself dressed and the family to the on call doctor’s office and then to the ER for stitches. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my son so frightened as he did upon hearing that the word stitches. I don’t think any parent could possibly enjoy listening to their child whimper “I don’t want to be here, take me home” when you know that just can’t happen. He just wanted Mama to hold him; then I knew how scared he really was. Mama is comfort, Mama is for when things are really scary, Mama is safety.
The ER nurse cleaned the wound and put a topical numbing agent on it. Feeling more comfortable, my son asked to get down from my lap and walk around with his brother. Without thinking I asked if I could hold him a bit longer. When he asked “why?” , all I could come up with is, “because I need to hold you right now” For who’s benefit was I holding him now? My eyes stung and my heart screamed.
When the doctor came in to do the stitches, my youngest crawled into my lap, needing hugs and kisses. My panicked tunnel vision blinded me to the fear this little one felt. He wanted to go home too. He didn’t like seeing his brother and best friend crying and screaming from the injections. I HAD to care for him. I had to let my husband, the nurse and doctor care for my oldest. I couldn’t be everything for everyone. I had to believe that others are able to care for my son and keep him safe.
This knowledge doesn’t come gracefully into a parent’s consciousness. It tears out of your heart and into your mind. It stills your breathing for a minute and rocks you to the core. When he was most vulnerable, and my protective instincts were peaking, I had to let go and believe he would be okay.
At that moment, I also realized that everything else that happened this week means absolutely nothing.