Don’t Start a Phone Call With the Words "Don’t Panic"

Because that’s EXACTLY what I’m going to do.  What does it say about me when a conversation has to start like that?  Anyway.  This is going to be a relatively short post because it’s midnight and I’m pretty exhausted. 

Today was a typical morning.  Breakfast was made (scrambled sandwiches for the family, a green smoothie for me of banana, orange, mango, blueberries, and kale), lunches were made, husband and children were successfully shuffled off on time.

I only had one meeting today, so yeah for that!  I had a lot of work to wrap up before heading out of town all next week, so I’m glad it was a peaceful day. 

A couple of days ago, I told M that he could invite friends to go to Busch Gardens this evening right after school.  So a couple of his friends rode his school bus home with him, and pretty much as soon as they got home, we left.  We were in the park by 530pm, and it was already full dark.  Fortunately, it was pretty empty, so the lines for the nicer things were short.  M and his friends went their way (with the expectation that they text every hour to let me know how they were), and I went mine. 

I first went on the sky ride, which was just beautiful.  I got to see all the lights from above the park, and that was just neat.  I walked through the entire theme park, and was pretty much frozen shortly into it.  I did get to see the show in Ireland (for those who don’t know, the Busch Garden’s theme park in Williamsburg, VA is broken up into European countries as it’s theme), which I never did before because the lines were always so long.  It was pretty – about a dozen singers doing Christmas carols, and a small orchestra.

After that, I needed some warming up, so I bought some hot tea and found my way to the heated tent seating in England.  I brought my Kindle and my book light, and figured if all else failed, I’d just hang out and read.  I did that for about an hour, and even though the tent was warmer than the outside air, it was still extremely cold to me.  Last week I was thinking that I missed living in a colder climate and the snow and everything, and maybe someday I’d go back to it.  Today I realized the folly of my thinking.  Being cold sucks.  A lot.  Snow is pretty to see or visit for a very short period, but give me white beaches over white snow any day.

I eventually gave up and went to the van to blast the heater and warm up.  Very shortly after, M called to tell me he and his friends were frozen, and could we go?  It was about 845 pm, and we left to grab a bite to eat and then drive the 45 ish minute drive home.  We were just finishing up eating, when my phone rang.  It was my husband.  In his exceptionally smooth voice says, “Honey…don’t panic.  It’s probably nothing to worry about, but I’m going to take R to the hospital.  Now she’s probably fine, but she ran full tilt into the treadmill, hit her head, and has a black eye sprouting.”.  Of course, I want to completely panic.  I don’t want to upset M (he’s very close and protective of his little sister), but I start telling him that I want a head CT or MRI done to make sure there’s no head trauma, etc.  Anyway, I quickly paid the check, and then we piled in the van for the drive home.  I dropped one friend off at her house, and the other friend is spending the night, so we came home.  After we got home, I went over to the hospital to see how the little patient was.  She seems fine, the PA checked her for any neurological problems, and other than a shiner on her right eye, she’s okay.  Of course we have to keep an eye on her for any symptoms, but they really strongly feel she’s fine. 

It’s amazing sometimes, but for pretty much everything, I am the one who keeps it together.  I don’t panic about work, finances (even when things are scary), daily life in general.  But holy cow, when it comes to the kids and their health, I’m a complete mess.  When my eldest was 3 and lost a fight with the corner of a wall and sliced her head open – D took her to the ED (I was at work).  When I got there, the nurse pretty much made me leave the room because my hysterics were the worst, and A was dealing with the stitches and everything just fine.  When M had hives head to toe, I’m scared to death he’s going to have airway issues and stop breathing.  D took him to the ED.  When A broke her arm (and I was 1800 miles away at a conference), he spoke very calmly to me – almost like I was a child – to keep me from panicking.  My youngest had several scary febrile seizures when she was under the age of 2 (which are incredibly common, by the way).  I melted down like a useless puddle every single time.  Someone gets a cold or feels run down, and I’m running every doomsday scenario in my head.  But only when it comes to my kids do I become a total blubbering and useless heap.  When D was sick, and we were going through specialists for two years like other people go through socks – I kept it together.  Yes I was a mess, but only those very close to me knew it.  With the kids though, I can’t keep it together.  I’m guessing this is normal and it certainly explains why D has to start phone calls in the way that he did.  It doesn’t stop me from panicking though.

So they should be home from the hospital soon (I wanted to stay at the ED with them, but really can’t rationalize having one of my older kids’ friends over without an adult in the house.  It’s a rule of ours – if we’re not home, they can’t have friends over), and R gets to sleep in our bed tonight.  She’s thrilled, though D and I won’t get any sleep with her there.  That’s okay though.  It’ll still make me feel better!

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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