Thursday, June 14, 2007

A blip, and a bump

Being a mom is still so raw for me. Those more experienced understand that life as you know it can be zapped away in an instant. I'm learning this lesson daily. Today, this afternoon, I learned it again.

It was a damp and chilly day, but we still went outside to enjoy the crisp air and fresh breeze. You, dear L, are my button-pusher. You know what you shouldn't do and run straight to do just that. These days, that button is squishing daylily petals between your short, baby fingers, leaving bright yellow goo all over them. It is a sight to behold. I know this. And, yet, I worry about that yellow, how it easily goes from your hand to your lips. I want to protect you, every part of you.

So we moved to a safer location, one far away from the Stella'dora or whatever it is your Da! told me.

J, you discovered a neat game of getting your hand wet in a puddle and then toddling my way and gifting me with cool rain drops fresh from your small, delicate hand. Each time you smiled. Each time, I was overly eager to accept such moist gifts.

Soon, L, you caught on to this game of connection between Mama and your sister. You, too, began gifting me with drops from the same puddle. Back and forth the two of you ran -- as best as 17 month olds can run. I was busy accepting these presents of nature, relishing our time outside and some peace from the loneliness that has been consuming me lately.

In a blip, a trip. A fall. A tumble. A scream. Crying. Crying. Crying. You were holding your head. I searched and searched your face, wishing the worst didn't happen, that you didn't just hit your head on that concrete step. Surely, you missed it. Surely, it couldn't be so. Surely, I hadn't just failed you.

I knew by the way you were crying that it was so. You are a tough girl. Your head, as we have noted many times, is hard. I knew by the way you held it that it was not just a little boo-boo. Within seconds, it all appeared. The blue. The goose egg bump. The blood.

The fear. The tears -- my own. Home alone, no car, no family to call, what will I do? I scooped you up first, held you, told you it would be OK. Then I scooped up your sister -- who wasn't happy her play was interrupted -- and ran into the house, first calling your Da! then the doctor's office.

"My daughter, 17 months, just fell and hit her head on a concrete step," I said breathless.

"This is my first injury," I added, tears falling down my cheeks.

"The first of many more," the female voice on the other end of the phone responded, calmly.

While on the phone answering questions, running the water in the kitchen sink, I gave you, my sweet girl, a Tylenol bottle. It was empty, but I was hoping for a distraction to ease your pain.

And, just like that, you were fine. You didn't cry again. You jumped and ran like usual. You ate dinner. You giggled when your daddy came home.

Pure, raw childhood seeped from your soul.


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

OOOWWW!! I hate those goose eggs! It is actually amazing to me the damage that a toddler's head can withstand. My daughter has done the trip and fall, ending with a head bonk on the pavement too. It was far more traumatic to me than to her. So scary! Hugs to you, poor Mama! And kisses to poor sweet baby's head.

Anonymous said...

I am sure glad that L. did not have a worse bump than she already had. Thank God for that. MomMom