Thursday, October 13, 2005
Dodge the Children
Many years ago, on a quiet evening, the younger child suddenly began vomiting. I leaped up to his aid. The elder child impulsed and darted into my headlong rush-- avoiding her, I zigged a touch too far and caught my toe on the table or a chair, I really don't know which. My world suddenly exploded with pain which prevents me even now from fully recalling what I collided with.
I succeeded in entirely missing the child without the sense to stay out of my way, and I somehow made it to the other while he still needed me. After a time, with him cleaned up and with all three of us calm down in front of the TV, I noticed that my toes were sticking together, apparently from the blood that was drying between them. I went back to the bathroom, cleaned me up, and the next morning saw this lovely coloration upon awakening.
I'm very pleased with myself on a few counts. I did not mow down the foolish one. I attended the other before myself. And I never scolded either for any of the events. There was enough frustration and emotion flowing around without putting that into the mix. Frankly, it simply didn't occur to me. I busted my toe because I was moving too fast, not because someone forced me to.
I limped in to work that day, and discovered that I had a very short fuse. About the time I noticed that folks were running from me with their tails between their legs, it occured to me to tell them my fuse was short because I hurt. The reactions to the story were sharply divided:
Those without children said: "Sure am glad I don't have any! Ouch!"
Those with, said: "Ha, ha! When you are having another?"
Posted by Robert van de Walle