Last week after marveling that I got my oldest to his dentist appointment on time, my son flew out of the car. My first instinct was to check for cars. He zipped across the parking lot so fast I was still smiling when he slipped on the wet sidewalk. I stopped breathing when he went airborne. My body suddenly moved through rubbery air, the kind that pushes you back in heavy bounces, adding weight to your limbs, keeping you from any superhero rescue. My arms weren't going to stretch across the street to catch him. This wasn't a cartoon. The colors were all wrong to be one of the many animated shows I loved when I was a kid. Dusk with wet concrete everywhere I looked turned most surfaces black except where the street lamps created golden sparkles. I see this scene when I close my eyes because right after this snapshot before he landed I became human. Moms aren't human in their minds. Even the ones who downplay it. We're something more because we have to be. So my big guy always ready with a joke landed with the worst scream. Somehow I was there with rain drenched jeans and him writhing in my arms seconds later. It all took seconds. Racing me across the parking lot, beating me, slipping and falling on the slick sidewalk, breaking his femur and wrist, and changing the landscape of our future.
By the next day I discovered he has an insanely high pain threshold, he has soft bones, and a kid scared out of his mind who was just informed he'd have to have emergency surgery by an ER doc who did not think Will had anything more than a bruised bone could tell a disbelieving ER doctor a knock knock joke.
It's been mind blowing, a little heart breaking, and a lot soul affirming. Happy Holidays people.