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Momentary Terror

I’m standing in the kitchen, prepping burgers for the grill when I hear that terrible cry from the living room.  Daniel has fallen, and it’s the awful, “I’m really hurt” cry that I rarely have to hear.  I come running.

He’s on the floor at the foot of a piece of exercise equipment we had already decided to throw out this weekend.  His chin is gashed, and his mouth, open with that awful scream, isn’t opening evenly.  Half of his mouth is wrong.  I sweep him up and carry him to the couch, because I need to sit down.

I rock him to calm him enough for me to see what’s going on, and all I can think is this is a really awful day to need the ER, and he’s just so tiny.  Watching his sweet mouth, that I know like it is engraved on my soul, not working right is turning my insides to jelly.

It doesn’t take long to assess that his jaw and teeth and tongue and spirit are just fine.  He demolishes an entire bag of wipes, taking swipe after swipe at his scratched chin with them, nurses like a champ, and delightfully chomps through a bowl of grapes.  He might wind up with a scar and some ugly bruising, but nothing more.

Fifteen minutes after that scream, I’m back in the kitchen working, and Daniel is back to tromping about the house, barely subdued.  I, though, feel drained.  In the few minutes on that couch, it feels like I aged in hours, not minutes.  Everything’s fine, and yet I need a nap to recover from it.


Redbox night.  George gets back into the car with our movie, and a second G rated one to distract the kids so that we can watch ours uninterrupted.  Samantha is quick to ask for the name of her movie, and George tells her.

She considers it, “Hmm.  I think that movie is a bit violent and scary.  But that’s okay.  Because I said the magic words to my dreams, and threw them all away.  I can’t have scary dreams anymore, so I can watch violent and scary movies.  So that’s okay, Daddy, I can watch that movie.”


I am whupped, and bedtime starts just as soon as the sheets finish in the dryer, so I am laying down for a minute with my phone.

Samantha appears at my feet, on the verge of tears, seriously distraught, “MAMA! Jack thinks that my seashell is his! My seashell that I found at the beach! My special seashell that I found! And he thinks it’s his, and it isn’t, it’s mine!”

I can’t help but point out, “Samantha, you’ve never been to a beach.”

She’s six. She channels teenage valley girls. “Oh, I have!”

She doesn’t understand why this makes me laugh, but she stops to think about it, and then issues a hesitant challenge, “So, if I’ve never been to the beach, how did I get it?”

“It’s my seashell.” I used to live on the coast.

“Oh. But you lended it to me, right?”

“I let you play with it.”

“Right. Then make him give it back!”