Nothing prepares you to be a mother. I don’t care who you are, how much experience you have with children or how many books you’ve read. Motherhood is something you have to experience to understand the sheer perplexities of the title.
When G, who is 5, put his arm through a plate glass door in our house last week, I was faced with a situation that I wasn’t ready for. There was blood. A lot of it. There was screaming. There was broken shards of glass all over the floor.
The thing is that, when you’re a mom, you stay calm (or at least make it seem like you’re calm) and handle the situation. No matter how nauseous you might feel. That’s your job.
While I certainly can’t say I handled the situation perfectly, I can say that I did my job. I have to admit, I almost panicked when I took G’s shirt off to assess where all the blood was coming from. It was flowing fast and all over the floor. And, it turns out, the gash was pretty big. The biggest I’ve seen up close. It was extremely clear to me that I needed to get him to the ER. I also had to retrieve his 23 month old brother from the other side of the door. Both boys needed to be told everything would be okay and cleared from the glass. And, yes, there was still all that blood to deal with.
Though I couldn’t quite get G to sit down, I was finally able to find a clean rag to wrap the wound. (I’m pretty sure there was a lot of me wandering around the room trying to figure out what to do next as well.) I made unsuccessful calls to my husband who I was sure would come home to an empty house with blood and glass all over the floor and to my friend (and nurse) who I hoped was still in her car after picking up her kids from the same daycare I just left. I was focused on getting G to the ER, and I could have used a little help.
The bleeding stopped after a few minutes. I managed to get the owner of the boys’ daycare to come over and pick up Biz while I took G to the ER. I got my husband by text in the ER, and my friend turned her car around to go to the house and clean the mess up. I have a great support system.
In the ER, the nurse practitioner took one look at the wound and said, “that is awesome!” (That is also why she’s and ER nurse, and I am not.) G didn’t even shed a tear at the hospital.
It was not a fun experience. I hope I never go through something like that again. In the days after the accident, I could actually feel pain in my arm when I thought about it.
In retrospect, it could have been a lot worse. In the end, at least I passed one of the many tests I will face as a mother. Everyone is in one piece, and G will have a great scar to go along with the harrowing story.