As a parent I think one of the hardest things to deal with is your child being sick or hurt. I didn’t realize the truth in this until recently. As a baby, Zane was sick often with earaches and colds. As first time parents we would get alarmed with a spike in his temperature, a funny sounding cough, or excessive fussiness but we were pretty rationale and low key. Along came Eli and I think second child syndrome kicked in because we didn’t get as alarmed. We still attended to the boys as normal but it was more routine. We knew what needed to be done and did it. We went to the doctor when we needed help. Both boys have had cuts and bruises along the way. They will be boys.
Now to the blood. . . Zane was playing in the kitchen as he often does. On this particular Saturday afternoon he had a pair of kitchen tongs that he was pretending to pick berries or tomatoes with. I was washing something in the sink and all of a sudden I hear this scream and I turn to see him dancing around grabbing his finger. I look over at him and I start to see blood. I try to comfort him thinking that maybe he just pinched his finger or something but he is screaming like he is dying. The routine first aid father figure gear shifts into panicked dad that has a son that could have cut his finger off.
At this point Zane is “gushing” blood. (defined as non stop red blood dripping from a screaming child) I tell Leslie that this may be serious because it has not stopped bleeding and Zane is usually not one to cry non-stop once he has the necessary attention and comfort. Let me insert a time reference for you. It seemed like 20 minutes of bleeding but I guess a screaming child and red blood has a way of multiplying 5 into 20. After I couldn’t control the bleeding I uttered these words for the first time since the birth of our children: “I think we need to go to the emergency room, this is serious, and it is a major gash that may need stitches.” Zane’s reaction as he screams and blood drips, “I can’t feel my finger”. The thought running through my head “My son is going to lose one of his fingers”. Of course this was not vocalized because my rational wife says, “Just apply pressure” then scoops Zane up and applies pressure. Within a few minutes Zane is fine, a band-aid is applied and we go about our day.
What caused such a low key dad and son to give an Oscar winning performance? I’ve thought about this over the last couple of days and have no response. I’m just glad to have a wife who knows that there will be blood.