Yesterday we were enjoying a sunny afternoon at the neighborhood community center and the children were socializing on the playground. I observed them from a bench located adjacent to the main climbing structure. All five of my kids were within earshot a few yards away.
I talk a good game about staying calm in the face of adversity. I write about my experiences living years besieged by tragedy and uncertainty. Said incidents have trained me for battle, specifically when the enemy is the “unknown.” I consider myself a soldier and nothing is ever less than a “mission.”
However, it’s one thing if we are the injured victim. But when our child is in pain, it’s another. Right?
It was bound to happen one day. I just never thought that time was now.
I heard my four year old scream.
The cry was less theatrical than when his brother unfairly devours one of his breakfast waffles. I wasn’t that concerned. From my position on the bench, I meandered towards him to calmly address the latest drama in the ongoing love-hate saga with his six year-old brother. I was certain they were “at it” again.
Still chewing on a piece of pizza, I mumbled, “What happened now?”
“Ouch! Mommy, I fell.” He bellowed out between wails pressing his left shoulder into his side with his right hand.
I glanced at the arm and in an instant, knew everything I needed to know. My brain rapidly processed the urgency of the situation. I looked away, unable to bear another second looking at the image of his jutting elbow and disfigured arm. It looked so unnatural. My heart sank.
Time for action. No room for panic. With adrenaline pumping through my veins, my mind was crystal clear. My five kids and all their respective “stuff” were scattered everywhere and my husband was inside the fitness center on the treadmill.
I scooped up my son and ran into the gym making a bee-line for my husband. I brought my free hand to my throat to signal to him that his exercise session was over. I suffer from one-sided deafness and have adapted my communication skills to my recent hearing loss. In lieu of screaming, I prefer to gesture.
Profusely sweating, he darted out and took one look at the arm. Now we were on the same page.
The first step was to corral the herd into the family truck and get this boy to the ER ASAP.
“Yair broke his arm. Let’s go.” That is all I said. I refused to answer a single question or provide any additional information until we were all in the car and en route to the hospital. Each child was responsible for “dragging” something to the car and in under a minute, we were on our way.
In the car, my husband and I hastily strategized how to position the arm, who’d go in the hospital to admit him, and who would stay with the others. Being both natural born leaders, it seems that when it comes to crisis, we manage to effectively put our power struggles aside to get the job done.
Our son had severely fractured his arm and required immediate surgery. I remained at his side until arriving to his room post-surgery. He was awake, free of pain, (thanks to morphine,) and I told him how much I loved him. “Mommy will always protect you.” I assured him as I tousled his hair. Then I left him in good hands — his father by his side, ready to spend the night.
We kept the whole family together throughout the entire ordeal. As a family, our motto is: “No one gets left behind.” And I believe my little broken-armed boy was in better spirits because all his siblings, parents and grandparents were there, until he closed his weary little eyes for the night.
We all learned something invaluable from this minor calamity. Working together as a team, we can overcome life’s curve balls, and turn an otherwise negative situation into time-shared for bonding and appreciating each other.
Grace under pressure.
Don’t miss Darah’s debut LA Talk Radio interview, where she shares her 7 pearls of wisdom (and more) … Visit http://www.latalkradio.com/Dana.php and choose the January 11 show. Enjoy!
Darah Zeledon aka The Warrior Mom is a wife, mother of 5, freelance writer, aspiring memoirist, small business owner, and fitness enthusiast. Depending on her personality on any given day, her writings run the gamut from philosophical and reflective to sentimental and inspiring; although her favorites are the witty anecdotes about the never-ending chaos of mothering 5 “relentlessly inquisitive” kids. She’s currently writing about her tragic, yet inspiring story in her unpublished memoir, A Lucky Girl. You can read more of her musings and insights at http://www.warriormom.net, or find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Warrior-Mom-straight-talk-from-the-heart/151800674859203, or twitter @thewarriormom.