I was in the middle of painting my kitchen when the phone call came.
The windowsills had been sanded and primed; the first coat of faded vintage green was gracing two walls.
I was just rinsing the brushes, anticipating a sandwich break when the telephone interrupted my DIY.
"Hi.... Simone? It's Sue here from the Intermediate School. We need you to get here right away..."
My heart sank. Oh no. What's he done? Is he in trouble? My mind started racing as I braced myself for bad news... but I was on the completely wrong track.
"We've called an ambulance, there's been an accident. He is conscious but we're very worried about him. The paramedics are on their way... how fast can you get here?"
Worse. This was so much worse than being called to school for an altercation or some other disciplinary thing. They've called an ambulance. For my son.
I dropped everything. I got there as fast as I could.
It's every mother's worst nightmare. Serious injury to your child which could have repercussions for their future. Damage to the neck or spine. That's what they told me they were worried about when I got to the school.
A much bigger boy had tripped and landed on Dash's head/neck while playing soccer. Yes, soccer. Hardly the kind of sport you think might result in your kid being carted away in an ambulance. It's not like he plays rugby or ice hockey after all.
But then, who would have ever thought a kid could crack their wrist doing swimming either?
Not your usual.
So there I am in the sick bay, with anxious staff offering me cups of tea (for the shock) while the paramedics poke and prod my child who is conscious but hardly responsive. He doesn't reply to questions, his face is white as a sheet with two bright red spots on his cheeks. his eyes keep drifting closed and he is shaking.
I feel a bit removed, weirdly calm.
Maybe it's all the practise I've had up at A&E but somehow I'm not panicking.
Until I can't get hold of Mr G whose phone is switched off. And I remember that he told me he'd be out at a work thing all afternoon, incommunicado, home late.
It's nearly 2pm now, an hour til the other two kids finish school for the day.
This is when my amazing community rallies round. I call a friend, she says sure she can pick up Scrag and Fab, take them home. She has to go out at 5pm though, so I know I need a backup plan. Another friend says, sure she will take them from then until I can get hold of daddy. (She even goes and picks them up for me.) Relief and gratitude overwhelm me; now I don't have to worry about my other babies, I can just focus on the injured one.
My son is stretchered off into the ambulance, headed for Starship children's hospital.
As I drive across the city to the hospital in a state of freakishly calm not-quite-shock, I pray for my boy.
Let him be OK; let there be no permanent damage; let this freak accident not affect his future.
Every mother's wish for their child when they get the phone call they dread the most.
|[Dash has been accepted into the Auckland Football Federation talent development Academy]|
Hours later, after a CT scan, lots of txting, praying and a lemonade iceblock, Dash is looking more himself. He has come out of that awful shock, he is talking again. The weird pallor has gone and normal colour has returned to his cheeks.
He can't remember the accident, he doesn't remember getting to the sick bay (he was carried by his friends, they told me later.)
The doctor has good news: the scan is clear. No neck or spinal injury. Nothing permanent.
The conclusion: Concussion.
No sport or exercise for at least a week. No AFF Football Academy; no team training. Take things very slowly. Stay quiet.
And be very very thankful it wasn't a whole lot worse.
P.S. How ridiculous is it that this time last week my post was about Miss Fab and her injury-proneness and cast collection??? Does this happen to anybody else?