Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hellish Days & Evel Knieval Wannabees

So I took more than the day off... it's been a crazy, hellish week. With lots going on, (and I'll get to that one of these days) Monday proved to be a Nightmare.

I was already in a sad mood as I had just watched the funeral coverage of young Canucks player Luc Bourdon on the news when we got the call just after 12 p.m. It was The Teenager, and he had been in a car accident. A backseat passenger in his friends little auto, they were just leaving school to grab some lunch when a little old lady of about 75 had smashed into them doing 60 clicks on a 40 zone side street. She never even hit the brakes and pushed their compact car 21 ft. from the point of impact. Her Minivan hit the side he was sitting on.

A Miracle, all 3 boys were able to walk away without serious injury.

While I was frantic, The Dude headed to the scene while I bounced off the walls at home with Chaos, who was wondering what all the commotion was about. I talked to The Teenager on his cell. He assured me he was going to live and had been checked over by the Paramedics, but had a very sore shoulder and bruised up arm. His friend who was driving had a hurt shoulder, and The Teenagers best friend who was sitting in the front passenger seat was taken to the hospital as he had cuts from flying glass. The lady who hit them was taken to the hospital due to her age and her airbag deploying.

He's had some very uncomfortable nights and another trip to the Doctor has assessed him with a Swollen Rotator Cuff. After a couple of days off from school I think he had become annoyed with my hovering and constant questioning of him; "Are you feeling okay? Are you in alot of pain?" and he headed back to school, feeling lucky to be alive, and getting on with life. Alas, he's not impressed that his arm is still too sore to go to Hockey today, but the last thing he wants to do is possibly injure it more so that's out for now. By Thursday night I had finally calmed down somewhat over the whole situation, but that's when we got the pictures back of the accident and my heart fell all over again.

We agreed. Papa was watching over my boy from Heaven...

As a Mother, this is the sort of thing from nightmares. Unfortunately it's not the first time something horrible like this has happened to one of my boys.

On The Teenagers 13th. Birthday when they were walking home from school, The Punk, 7 years old at the time, was nailed head on by a Hit and Run Driver. The Bastard was speeding right in front of two schools! After hitting my son, he hit a teacher in her car and sped off.

The Punk was in shock after being thrown up onto the hood and windshield and flying through the air a couple of feet. He jumped up and ran home only 30 seconds away. As bystanders stood around in disbelief, The Teenager ran after him and tended to his little brother, laying him on the sofa, putting his feet up and grabbing frozen peas from the freezer for The Punks' hip. My Mother, who I commonly refer to as my "Egg Donor" (and that's a whole other subject I'll eventually write about) and who was supposed to walk out to meet them, was absolutely no help whatsoever and slinked off to a corner. My neighbour had also rushed in to see what she could do.

Meanwhile, my Grandparents and I pulled up to the house as we were just arriving home from the bakery picking up The Teenagers Birthday cake. We knew something was up because of the gaggle of kids gathered outside and the Teenager came to the curb to meet us. He said "Now I don't want you to freak out, (Yeah, right!) and he seems okay, but The Punk was hit by a car." Well, I did freak out and ran up to the house. I didn't want The Punk to be upset any more than he certainly would be, so I steeled myself and acted as calm as I could after I rushed over to my son. Tears were streaming down his little freckled face as he told me he got hit by a car and that his older brother had been taking care of him. I checked him from head to toe and with the exception of a reddened hip he seemed fine - from what I could see on the outside anyways.

I kept telling him he would be fine, that everything was going to be okay. Then tried to not totally lose my mind when he asked if he was going to die! I called The Dude who immediately dropped everything he was doing and frantically took off from work to make his way home. I then ran out to my Grandparents, who were sitting practically frozen in the car. The terror on their faces was heart breaking. "He's fine." I assured them, and my Grandmother finally felt okay enough to come into the house. She's never ever handled it well when one of us kids got hurt - when I was 2 and fractured my femur she ran from the scene at Ted Reeve Arena screaming, covering her ears from my cries. It's not a fault, it's just her way of dealing when one of the loves of her life gets hurt.

The Dude got home so quickly I thought he had teleported, and we loaded The Punk into Papa's car and headed up to the hospital. A Miracle. No internal injuries, no broken bones, and he didn't even have to be admitted. With the exception of some redness on his hip he had escaped what could have been something catastrophic. He kept his sense of humour and matter of factly told the Doctor he had The Luck of The Irish because he was born on St. Patrick's Day, and also acknowledged that he most certainly had a Guardian Angel watching over him.

He was mad too. He looked both ways, he told me, and the teacher waiting in her car to turn out of the driveway even waved him across as the coast was clear. Turns out the (insert expletive here) who hit him came out of nowhere from the side street beside the school driveway and witnesses said he was going at an extremely excessive rate of speed.

Later that night away from everyone in my bedroom, the emotional impact of the days' events exploded out of me and I sobbed my eyes out. My son could have been killed and I knew it.

To this day that driver who barreled into my son has never been caught.

Fast forward to this past winter. I was nursing a brutal flu and had come out from under the covers of my bed to grab another shot of Buckley's. The Dude broke it to me gently. The Teenager had just arrived home - he had been hit by a Transit Bus.

"He's Home?!" I screamed. "Why is he not in the hospital?!" I ran to him and he told me what happened. He had gotten off the bus and had proceeded on a green light to cross the intersection, to transfer onto his next bus. The bus he had just gotten off did not yield before it's turn and cut right in front of him. It hit him, knocking him down and he jumped up just in time before the back wheels rolled over him. A woman rushed over to help him and and he paced for a few seconds. The bus didn't even stop after it hit him, just kept on going. He thanked the lady for asking and in a state of what I can only imagine was some degree of shock, he left and made it across the street, and jumped onto his connecting bus. He sat there in complete disbelief over what had just happened to him. He called The Dude and told him what had happened, that he was okay and he would be home in 5 minutes.

I asked him why he didn't stay there and wait for further help, and he said he didn't know, he was just so shocked and all he wanted to do was get home.

I couldn't believe it. He kept telling me he was fine but I wasn't satisfied. I demanded he was going to the hospital to be looked at and The Dude took him up as my sick self stayed home with The Punk, Sharkboy and Chaos. He was checked out by the Doctor in the Emergency Department and had an x-ray. Another Miracle. No serious injuries.

I swear, these boys are turning my hair white from worry. As much as I'd like to be Eagle Eyes watching over them every second of every day, and keep them tucked safe inside away from the dangers out there in this big bad world, I know that that's just not a reality. The Teenager is 17 and has an active social life outside of school and hockey and I'm having a hard time letting go. (And speaking of hockey, I won't even go into the concussion he sustained a couple of years back from a dirty hit from behind and ended up in the Emergency at St. Michael's.)

Their energy is boundless rivaling that of circus acrobats and cannot be contained. It has led to both older boys putting their hand through the glass of the back door at my Grandparents house, 10 years apart from one another and at right about the same age. Pushing the handle down on the door would require too much time as they ran out to the backyard. Both boys were cut very badly. The Teenagers palm narrowly missed a Tendon, and The Punk ended up with not only a cut hand and arm, but quite a scar on his chest that could have been so much worse had his Uncle not been standing there, pulling him back before he fell forward any further. After that, Papa installed tempered glass so it would never happen again.

The list goes on. The Punk split his head open off the foot board of our bed and needed stitches. Sharkboy, after playing beautifully for hours with some change a neighbour had given him, lining up the coins along the floor and putting them in and out of a little wallet I had given him, suddenly decided to pop one in his mouth. I caught this out of the corner of my eye and the trip up to Emergency ended up in the Operating Room to remove it from where it laid precariously in his throat, dangerously close to becoming lodged and cutting off his air. The surgeon appeared with a dime and said Sharkboy was doing great and flirting with the nurses.

About a year ago Chaos and Sharkboy were running up and down the hall, as little boys often do, and had ignored my repeated requests to stop because "You're going to get hurt!" as two weeks earlier Sharkboy ended up with a nasty bruise under his eye from doing exactly the same thing. As Sharkboy ran down from one end, Chaos tore back up the other. The collision was horrendous. Chaos got the worst of it and let out the shrillest scream we had ever heard. I scooped him up and literally within seconds the side of his forehead swelled up and gave credence to the term "Goose Egg". The Teenager immediately emerged from his room to see what had happened and when he caught site of his little brothers head he exclaimed "Hospital!!!" The Dude was already two steps ahead and throwing on his shoes. I wrapped a blanket around him as it was the dead of winter and it was off to the hospital again.

The verdict was a slight concussion, but he was pleased that the nurses liked his "Superman" pyjamas and when he got home he polished off a banana and seemed unfazed by the whole thing. The Teenager said he was floored as he couldn't believe he watched it balloon right before his eyes. The bump on Chaos' head rivaled the size of a baseball and it turned every shade of black, blue, purple and then yellowed. It took weeks to disappear and when we were out and about people either gave The Dude and I that sympathetic look that said "I'm a parent, I understand, I know - been there, done that." or an evil glare like we had pulled a beatin' off on our kid.

You would think that both boys would have learned their lesson after that, and they did lay off it for a bit, about a month or so. But not enough to make them stop their antics permanently and eventually turned the hallway back into the Indy 500 for their little legs. I wondered aloud to The Dude if the Hospital Emergency Department should just keep a room reserved for us.

So what's a Parent to do? We worry endlessly about them from the moment we realize they are growing in our womb and it only gets worse as they get older and spread their wings. Every sniffle, every bump, every bruise, every gash that requires stitches, heck, even any unkind word they get from another child in school, only instigates more upset within us. It doesn't make it any easier that my boys are sports crazy, leading to even more injuries and evident from a broken thumb and a fastball to the nose from baseball, various sprains and muscle pulls, Charlie Horses and well, the list goes on but you get the picture.

I've suggested bubble wrapping them from head-to-toe, but that scenario wasn't given a warm reception after I proposed it to them. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that I will forever feel the worry, and that it comes with the territory of being a Mommy.

In the meantime, I am seriously contemplating buying stocks in the companies that make Polysporin and Band-Aids.

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