Saturday, August 1, 2009

Accident Residue

A few weeks ago, our 11 year old suffered a minor injury in a very unminor way. She fell from the slide at the pool and passed out in the water, in the arms of her friend. I have not written about this event because, frankly, it scared the crap out of me. You will forgive the crude phraseology since it truly is one of those scenes that unfolds horrifically in slo-mo every time it comes to mind. To top it off, every single emotion that was crammed into that incredibly short interval from fear to comfort overwhelms me on an annoyingly regular basis.

Cut to today...weeks after her fall, and surely over a span that would allow her newly inhibited mother to have healed. Right?

Tubing on the lake always makes me nervous. It reminds me of learning to drive with my dad; the most important lesson he taught me his favorite and most oft-repeated lesson was that he was less concerned with what I was doing and more concerned with what "the idiots" around me were doing. On special occasions, those idiots made the transition to even lower life forms than I feel it's appropriate to admit here. I will say I learned some colorful language from Pops.

Back to on the lake I watch all around us, cutting a wide swath with my mama bear eyes, trying to ensure no other boat comes within a football field of my precious cargo. And the kids know their cues: how to signal faster, slower, okay and stop. The girls, 9 and 11, were cruising along happily today while their father, my husband, sped about trying to create wakes for them. And then he flipped them, much to their delight. And my subsequent horror.

The boat dropped from under me, my heart thumped inside me, desperate to make sure they were fine.

They were fine. They loved it. They were laughing. I felt stupid. Although I did notice a look on the face of the 9 year old. She felt what I felt; I am certain. She looked about for her sister in a panic, wanting the same confirmation I wanted. I needed to know, and so did little sister, that the big girl landed safely in the water, did not hurt her head, had not passed out, was not bleeding from anywhere....

And in that moment I knew we, my middle child and I, were still not free from the trauma of that day. The one who was injured remembers little of her accident. The rest of us will not soon forget what we felt on that day. I suppose time is the only eraser for the erratic and consuming emotions, and my desire, my goal, is to make it okay for the sister, and for me, to talk about it as much as possible.

Which is why I finally wrote about the day my girl was hurt.

1 comment:

  1. I can picture the face of your 9yo, from looking for her sister, to looking to her mom for confirmation that mom sees sis, to seeing that mom doesn't see her yet . . . to finally seeing her.

    I can see my 9yo son carrying the same burden . . . and am pleasantly chagrined to learn that he doesn't carry the burden nearly as long as I do.