We walked into the gym like we walk into most places, making a spectacle of ourselves. My 3-year-old ran from the elevator, tripped and slid head first into the glass door sending a loud bang through the front entrance. Everyone turned as he jumped up and shouted, “I’m okay, mom.”
He was fine, but I looked incredibly insensitive as I burst out laughing. The guy at the front desk asked if he was okay. He looked concerned as he scanned my son’s face. A scab ran down from his nose to his chin where he’d careened face-first down a steep driveway the week before. His lip makes him look like a pro boxer thanks to the 14 stitches he endured after a fall from his little red wagon when he was 2. I stopped laughing.
I started thinking about the question I’ve asked myself more than once. How many times can you take your kid to the ER before they don’t let him come home with you? In his 3 ½ years, my little guy has been transported by ambulance twice, and been to the ER five times.
And it’s not just accidents, there’s also random illnesses. He had a febrile seizure, which is a seizure kids get when their fever spikes too high too quickly. Weeks after that, he wasn’t feeling well and suddenly dark spots that looked like bruises appeared all over his legs, and one on his thigh swelled up before our eyes and I swear to God I thought he had Ebola. It turns out it was Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, HSP, which has no long term effects but, like the seizure, is really scary when it happens. For a month, he would cry every afternoon because the swelling in his legs hurt so much.
Don’t get me started on my 5-year-old. He was hospitalized as a baby, had respiratory problems until he was 4, was almost toppled by a falling tree branch, and was attacked by a peacock at the zoo. WTF???
I worry that my doufusness has somehow traveled through my DNA and infected my children. I’m sure they get it from me. In life, I’ve always pictured myself like Chevy Chase when he would do Gerald Ford. I once fell doing a trail run on the eve of my best friend’s wedding and had to go up in front of the church in my short, sleeveless dress showing off my bloody arms and legs.
I’ll never forget what the bride told me; “People like us shouldn’t move quickly.” Or at all.
This post first appeared in LA Moms Blog on April 4, 2009 on Los Angeles Moms Blog.