Having a child, I soon learned, is like having an open wound. People ask you about it. They give you advice and secret remedies. Friends tell you to ignore it for a while and see if it doesn’t heal itself. Everyone assures you that it won’t kill you. And then they show you their scars.”

-Michael Downing in “Breakfast with Scot”

It’s one of my favorite quotes of all time, because it is so gosh darn accurate.  Nothing makes you feel more vulnerable and at the mercy of the universe than loving a child.  Most days it doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t heal either.  It isn’t a question of whether you feel the pain, but when.

This weekend Noah happily went off to a 24 hour synagogue retreat which took place at the camp he loved so much this summer.  I warned him that it wouldn’t be like camp but he preferred to hope against hope that it would.  Cut to the chase:  He didn’t have the greatest time and we received the blow by blow via several cell phone calls.  But we knew he would survive. When he called from the bus as they were pulling out and headed towards home, he was very cheery – and so were we.  Even Chase wanted him back.

Ten minutes later the phone rings again.  This time Noah is choking back tears.  The bus has broken down.  Another bus has been dispatched and will arrive in an hour and a half. If all goes well from here he will get home after midnight.

The wound begins to burn with the salt of the tears I hear dripping from his cheeks.  It takes everything in my power – as well as the power of the ever pragmatic husband and dear friends – not to jump into the Magic Mini Van and fly to the rescue.

He is perfectly safe.  He is with good people.  A little adversity is a good thing.  That which doesn’t kill him….  All are great pieces advice which I would dispatch verbatim to any parent who has a kid in this situation.  Except this is MY kid.  And MY wound.

Three more teary check-ins from Noah.  Two calls to the wonderful director on the ill fated bus.  One desperate promise of a trip to Game Stop on Sunday for remuneration.   I try to ignore the wound and busy myself with the child who is in my possession while obsessing about the one who isn’t.  Dave does his best to stay supportive while staying clear of me. (Wise move.)  And at last, at 1 in the morning, I get to hug my boy while trying to keep my guilt in check.

“Hey, bud you must be hungry.  Can I fix you something?  How about some chateaubriand and a little baked Alaska?  Mommy will whip that up for you right away!  What?  Banana and peanut butter?  Sure thing.  How about instead of Peter Pan, I grind the peanuts with my bare knuckles? ”

He gives me a smile as I tuck him in.  It is only when my suffering exceeds his that the pain from the open wound begins to subside. 

Until the next time.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter