Sunday, May 03, 2009

What You Never Forget About Being A Parent


What you never forget? How things can change in a split second.

Your kids grow up. They have kids of their own. And the grandkids are fine one minute. And the next minute one is on her way to the emergency room.

Just like that.

There we were at dinner, just finishing up when Ellie decided she was done.

Kicked her feet out. Shoved against the table. Tipped herself right over backwards and we all watched in horror as she and the chair nailed the hardwood floor at a rate of knots.

You know how kids sometimes don't cry because it hurts so much they are gearing up to split everyone's eardrums in three counties. That's pretty much the way it was -- dead silence as her dad snatched her up -- and then came the shriek.

And then the blood.

Concussions are one thing. A bad thing. Blood along with concussions is worse.

It makes everything so much more -- red.

And obviously urgent.

So we left Henry and his mother at home -- Henry colicky and his mother beyond anxious -- and were on our way into town to the ER in less than a minute. We arrived no doubt faster than the speed limits allow.

Ellie was a trooper even though we spent three hours there. She hung onto her dad while she got the lay of the land. Then we all read books and looked at the pictures on the ceiling (good idea, that) and waited. They were doing a land office business in the ER tonight.

Ellie endured. She pretty much only screamed when someone was trying to do something dire to her -- like put staples in her head.

In the end, they gave her three stickers which she loved, a headband to keep the leaking blood off the sheets, which lasted, um, until we got to the door of the hospital, and then we drove home through a rainstorm that turned to a snowstorm as we got closer to the foothills. Glad my son was driving.

Now she has gone to bed and is due to be awakened every couple of hours tonight by her mom who said, "Of course I'm going to do it. I won't be able to sleep anyway."

How well I remember. It comes right back.

So while we are waiting, I am writing my scheduled bit of Demetrios because I can't sleep either.

There's nothing like a bit of adrenaline to focus the mind. I remember that, too.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Kate Walker said...

Oh Anne -what a shock - I'm so glad that Ellie is OK. I hope she continues to recover fast. And that her poor little head isn't too sore today. Give her a gentle hug from me. And I'll bet that her mum and dad were glad you were there to help.

Im hoping that's the end of the drama for your stay - except in that new book you're writing (when you get the chance)

Kate

04 May, 2009  
Blogger Heather R. said...

Oh, my goodness! What a way to start the week, huh?

I have had the ER trips with my son. He decided he was Superman at 2 and took a running leap off the bed and bounced directly on his head...with me trying to catch him less than 2 feet away! Needless to say he was fine, but he sure scared me with that quietness and then throwing up and crying. It was something.

Then less than a month later we were at a friends house when he tried to jump onto (not off this time) her son's bed and hit the edge of his bed which was wood, and ended up splitting his ear in just the right spot to bleed for over 4 hours in the ER. They finally gave up and did the liquid stitches. It worked and he only has a small scar to show there was ever anything wrong.

Fond memories... ;-)

Have a good trip!

Heather R.

04 May, 2009  
Blogger Kate Hardy said...

Hugs, Anne - to you, your son and d-i-l, and to Ellie. Hope she recovers really quickly. (Know exactly where you're coming from as I was talking to the kids this morning about when I've sat up all night with them...)

04 May, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Kate W, thank you. The hug was much appreciated. Ellie is a great hugger. And she seems to be good today.

Heather, I know where you're coming from. One weekend I was in the ER three times -- once with each son!

Kate H, She's recovering quickly, thanks. And yes, I've been there with her dad, too. The last time not many years before she was born. Still scares me, that one.Still scares me, that one.

04 May, 2009  
Blogger PRiley said...

Glad everything is ok. I hope Ellie mends quickly. Enjoy your new grandson.

04 May, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Patricia,
Thanks for your good wishes. Ellie seems to be mending rapidly. I hope her mother mends as quickly. She's still feeling a bit rattled (as you do).

And I'm definitely enjoying the new grandson!

04 May, 2009  
Blogger Liz Fielding said...

Oh, bless her! And bless her poor mother, too -- I hope she's feeling a little less shaken by now. And you.

Oh, yes, I remember it well. Brought back Amy going over the top of the sofa and cutting her lip on the credenza.

Hope everyone has finally stopped shaking.

And bless Henry, too.

05 May, 2009  
Blogger Christa said...

what a way to start the week. Glad tohear she's doing better. guess she didn't want to waste any of grandmas visit

05 May, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Liz, yes, it happens soooo fast. I remember one of mine standing on the sofa and turning to face the window and, thinking he was being clever, smacking his face down on the back of the sofa-- only he hit the windowsill instead. He had a goose egg sized bump between his eyes before I could even cross the room to get to him!

Christa, well, we had some bonding time in the ER. I guess that was a good thing. I took some pix for her, so we can write a story about Ellie's adventure if we are so inclined. I think her mother would prefer to forget the whole awful experience.

05 May, 2009  
Blogger PRiley said...

I wanted to say I finished Savas' Defiant Mistress. I loved Seb and his loyalty to family. I came from a large family and I could easily relate. Your ability to take unlikely places and fill them with "Presents" glamor is uncanny. I would've never thought of a houseboat in Seattle...wonderful. Neely was a beautiful down-to-earth-heroine who was the perfect match for Seb. Thanks for another great McAllister read!!

05 May, 2009  
Blogger Margaret Mayo said...

Anne, just read your story about Ellie. Hope she's well on the road to recovery by now. Actually I need to thank you for sharing this because it inspired me to use a similar scene in my current WIP. I needed something dramatic to lift the story, and as I have a four and a half year old boy - who was playing around in his father's office, well, you can guess the rest. Hope you don't mind for being my inspiration. Hope Ellie won't mind either!!!

06 May, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Patricia,
Thank you so much. I'm very happy you like Seb's book -- and his family. And the houseboat! Very kind of you to take the time to say so.

Margaret,
It's all grist for the mill, isn't it? I might well do something similar with a book of mine someday. I've certainly used enough 'real life' events to fill the pages of mine, changed to fit the circumstances of the story.

I'm sure Ellie, when she grows up enough to be told, will love to hear the story about how her fall inspired a bit of your story. Just give your 4 1/2 year old boy as happy an ending! She's doing great now.

06 May, 2009  
Blogger lidia said...

Anne,
I do hope that Ellie has a very quick recovery. In a few weeks she will barely remember the pain. But she will remember the excitement of being driven to the hospital.

I finally read Seb's book - loved it. Haven't read a book lately with a H who was so loyal to his family. Neely was a great "fit" for him.

08 May, 2009  

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