Last week: It was a typical Friday morning. I was freelancing at a women’s magazine office (a temp jobber) and JD was 40 minutes away at school. So, there I was logging in style numbers with a pile of bikinis at my feet, when my cell phone vibrates. It flashes XYZ School. I panic. Why the hell is JD’s school calling me at 11 A.M. Oh God.
“Hi Chrissy, it’s *Laura from XYZ School—
I cut her off.
“What’s wrong? I said. “Is he OK?”
“He’s OK, but I’m going to transfer you to Miss *Jaime,” (One of JD’s teachers).
The tranfer took 2 seconds. It felt like 9 hours. Was my son bleeding? Did he bite someone? Did he choke on his morning snack? Was he having explosive diarrhea? Crap, did I forget his lunch? Nah, I’ve NEVER done that. Did JD say F*ck, but meant to say Duck?
“JD and *Kat were running on the playground,” Miss Jaime said.
My heart dropped. My son is hurt. One hand was already on my purse.
“They collided. It was a complete accident. Kat basically head-butted JD’s face.”
Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhat. I am feeling a panic attack coming on. Like a legitimate panic attack.
“OMG, is he OK, is he bleeding, did he hit his head, does he need to go to the ER, should I come? I’m coming!” I said in a loud whisper because I didn’t want the editors all around me to know I was having a nervous breakdown.
“He cried and he has a shiner,” said Miss Jaime.
“A shiner?” I said. My brain wasn’t working at this point. Was my son shiny? Seeing stars?
“There is a bruise under his eye. It’s not swollen shut, but he does have a black eye,” she said.
OMG. OMG. OMG.
“We hugged him, dried his tears, gave him a drink of water and applied ice. He stopped crying,” she said. “And told us the ice was chilly-willy.” (I taught JD that phrase. And hot-to-trot, when things are hot.)
“OK. What is he doing now?” I asked on the seat of my chair.
“He’s sitting at the table with his friends gluing shapes to a piece of paper. And talking about Woody from Toy Story,” she said.
“OK. Do I need to come get him? Are you sure he didn’t hit his head?”
Confession: I get really paranoid about the head. You all know the tragic story of actress Natasha Richardson. She hit her head while skiing and did not seek immediate care because she felt OK. Then she died.
True Story: JD once fell at my girlfriend’s house and hit his head hard—he wasn’t bleeding, but he got an immediate egg! Boom! We went to the ER. I paid the $100 co-pay. He was FINE. You never know. I don’t want to be a crazy mom, but I want to protect my son. I want to go with my gut. It's all I have. IT'S ALL I HAVE.
Our call continued.
“You are welcome to come and visit. He did not hit his head, though” she said.
We hung up. I stared at the bikinis on the floor.
I was 40 minutes from his school. My Dad was 7. I sent my Dad to check on JD. I was overacting. But I don’t think I was, know what I mean? My 3-year-old got hurt. I wanted someone to double-check the situation even though I completely trust and love his teachers. Even though the school has my permission to transport JD in an ambulance and has our insurance info on file. Read: Thank your kid’s teacher!
JD was fine. He was over-the-moon excited my Dad stopped by. “Poppy!” he squealed and jumped into his arms. The teachers invited my Dad to stay for lunch. It was pizza day! What a treat. I drilled my Dad from the fashion closet at work. "He.Is.Fine.Relax," my Dad said.
Later that day I picked up JD and hugged him tight. Yep, a black eye. “What happened, bud?” I said. “I bumped my eye in Kat’s eye!” LOL. “Let’s go home and play ramp and cars!” LOL
Single parents, who would you call if you needed help ASAP? Would you double-check your kid? Any ER trips to share?