Photo: The fact that this child is still the purest sunshine is just… everything. Really, it’s everything to me.
I saw five Black men during my day yesterday. I’m pretty sure that’s a record since I’ve moved to MetroWest. A valet, a security officer, a greeter at the specialist’s office, and two dads. I remember vividly because they all gave me the same look as I encountered them yesterday. It was one of those, “damn, sister, what the hell happened to you?”
One even asked me that plainly. “You ok there, sister? Do you need some help or something?”
I was just… I was a mess. I was doing my best not to look a mess. I had all the trappings of a suburban woman: nice jeans, long cardigan, modest yet noticeable shirt underneath… all my nice jewelry and good posture, calm voice and purposeful steps. But the air of it. My air. My presence. And my hair. Probably mostly my hair. They gave me away. I couldn’t hide my mess. I couldn’t keep my unraveling from showing.
“I have an appointment with Orthopedics?”
“Yes, take any elevator to the 2nd floor, then take the first door in the South wing.”
“Great.” Turn. Halt. Breathe. Turn back. “And where is the South wing?”
“Ma’am, take any elevator to the second floor.”
“Ok.” Turn. Halt. Breathe. Point. “And the elevators are that way?”
“Ma’am? Yes, Ma’am. That way. Take any one of them to the second floor, Ma’am.”
At least he kept called me Ma’am instead of Crazy Lady.
It was such a journey just to get to that appointment. Our pediatrics office wanted me to go into downtown Boston to go to Boston Children’s to have the cast put in. “We’re letting the ER know that you’re coming,” I was told.
“No, no. No no no. No. I live in [MetroWest]. Going all the way Children’s at this hour (any hour) is impossible. I might as well drive to the Cape. Please, let me take him to the orthopedist here.”
“Well…. [insurance excuses, doctor excuses, blah blah blah blah blah. blah.].”
We compromised with an appointment at a satellite campus, which was closer than downtown Boston but still a bit of a hike. I made the call and got an appointment, which was a long phone call with a lot of explanation. They had me return to my community hospital to get his x-ray disk to take with me. I huffed and puffed about all the effort. It would have been so easy to see the orthopedist right down the street. I had to go to Major’s school to add new people to my emergency cards so that my neighbors could get him off the bus after school just in case I didn’t make it back in time. We had to have the “these are the only people allowed to get you from school” conversation and our first good talk about stranger danger. What the hell is my life right now?
Minor went to school, got his splint wet, which was a no-no. I fielded calls, texts and emails from people all up and down the eastern seaboard. Meanwhile, my freelancing clients have wondered where the hell I’ve been all week and can I please get a whole hell of a lot done right now. I. am. over. whelmed. Maximum whelmed.
And for all that effort, I’m actually quite grateful: the pediatric specialist who saw us was able to take a better look at Minor’s x-rays. He has a real and actual fracture, not just a buckle fracture. It’s well aligned, thanks be to God, so he does not need surgery. Unfortunately, he needs to wear a hard cast that goes up most of his arm for the next 4 weeks and then there will likely be a splint for another 2. My month of June is totally blown to hell.
I just don’t even know what to say. To make matters worse, the poor boy has a chest cold thanks to a playdate we had last week with a kiddo who coughed all over my playroom.
The moral of the story is: please ignore everything that I wrote last Friday. Being social yields absolutely no benefits at all. I’m starting a GoFundMe to begin building the biggest fence possible around my whole entire life.
The ridiculousness isn’t over, of course. Outside of the follow-up that we have to have next week, complete with new x-rays because why not, there is still the matter of reconciliation that needs to be taken care of. So, the big boy who was part of this incident is coming over tomorrow. Supposedly he is buying Minor a little yellow t-shirt as an apology gift. Part of me is screaming no, don’t, stay away… but the well-trained lady part of me knows that we are going to have to stand there and graciously go through the motions. The older child needs to have the opportunity to see the consequences of his actions and then apologize for it. Minor needs to have the opportunity to look the child in the eye and, if he wants to, bestow a bit of grace and forgiveness. He at least needs to hear the words “I’m sorry” and know what it feels like to have those words said to him with sincerity.
Please, Jesus, let that child be sincere tomorrow.
Minor’s heartbreaking question yesterday after we got home was, “why did that big boy do that to me? He is a Boy Scout. I thought Boy Scouts are nice.”
Maximum whelmed, Dear Reader.
Will I have Quiet Thoughts on Friday? I hope so. They might be yelling thoughts. Maximum Thoughts. Raging Thoughts. Roaring Thoughts?
See you Friday for Thoughts.