On Wednesday night I mentioned to Boatman that I needed to organise some one on one time with Bridie, because I hadn’t done it for a while. and really felt like she needed it.
And then on Thursday afternoon, she fell off the monkey bars and fractured her elbow, and we got my wish: two and a half hours of uninterrupted quality at the local hospital. We all know I love that place. 😉
You know sometimes as a parent, your kid hurts themselves and you’re skeptical about the extent of the injury, and other times you know instantly that something has happened and you need to get it seen to stat? This was the latter. Bridie has a pretty impressive pain threshold, and she doesn’t make a fuss in public so when she cries in front of everyone loudly, and loses all colour, you know it’s serious.
There were a few beautiful things that happened though, despite the obvious.
The first: the realisation I have friends. Beautiful friends who will do what they can to help. In the past, I would have just dragged all four kids to the hospital with me, and waited for Boatman to get off work, but this day I had several people offering to help. To take kids home with them, and watch them. I was actually quite humbled by their generosity. Our neighbours in particular are such amazing people, proven by the fact that even Ava, who doesn’t go to just anyone, was happy to stay with them.
The second: I mentioned on FB how because there was no TV, and my phone was sitting on 1% battery, our only option was to talk and spend time together. There were no TV shows stealing our attention. No Facebook or Candy Crush or Minecraft demanding our time. It was just Bridie and I, talking about life and school and how to play chopsticks one handed. Once her pain killers kicked in, she was happy as a clam, and talking to everyone. It reminded me how much I love my kids; they are incredibly awesome people.
The Third: Life lessons learned. When I got home, Boatman was still at the neighbour’s and we went over there, but Bridie wouldn’t go inside. She was embarrassed by how she looked with her arm in a cuff and collar under her shirt, and thought people would laugh at her. I tried to press the issue but in the end left her outside whilst I said thank you, then we took her home. Once there she locked herself in her bedroom and wouldn’t let anyone in except me. She wouldn’t talk to anyone, scared of what they would say.
I’ll admit, I was a little bit out of patience by this time, but I managed to keep calm and tell her, ‘you need to give people the chance to love you. Right now you are telling everyone that you think they are nasty people who will judge you for something silly. Do you think that?
“No,’ she said.
“That’s right. Everyone is just concerned about you and wants to show you they love you. It’s ok to let them. Give them the opportunity to show you that they don’t care what you look like, they just care how you are.’
It must have got through because she came out after getting changed and showed everyone her x-ray’s. It was quite beautiful to watch, but more than that, it was a good reminder for me. Often I assume the worst of people without a second thought; assuming they are judging me or thinking less of who I am. People though deserve the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is ready to tear you down, and I think, more often than not, most people are just looking to be friendly.
So what started as a dream to go out for ice-cream or some other small, inexpensive event, became an afternoon full of tears and pain, and uncomfortable arm movements. But also love and fun and getting back to the basics of life; switching off, and giving people the opportunity to surprise you whilst always believing the best.
Who knew you could get all that from a fractured elbow? 😉