Wednesday, July 26, 2006


About two years ago Ross used to attend a gymnastics class. I always used to watch the one hour sessions. Other than my friend Jodi whom I met at the gym, I hardly used to engage with any of the other mothers. They used to huddle in their typically uninviting groups and in spite of several attempts to be included, aside from Jodi, nothing ever came of it.

One week though, I had a brief conversation with one of the mom’s. I don’t recall how or why we started talking. Our conversation was short but she made quite an impact on me. I thought about her all the way home and told Daniel about her later that evening. I explained to him that I wasn’t sure what it was about her, but I picked up this deep sadness from her. I walked away from her feeling quite heart sore and there was just something about her that touched a soft spot in me. I felt like she needed some TLC. She stayed on my mind for several days.

Soon after that happened, Marti started taking Ross to gym and when I described the woman to her, Marti told me that she would often chat with her.

On Wednesday last week when Ross came home from camp, the bus counselor accompanied him to the door as he wanted to talk to me. He explained that Ross had been playing catch on the bus with another little boy by the name of Noah. They sit next to each other and for some crazy reason; Noah took his sneaker off, threw it at Ross and asked him if he wanted to play catch with it. In their exchange of throwing the shoe back and forth between them, Noah got banged on the nose. This resulted in a dramatic nose bleed which lasted all the way home for Noah who was met off the bus by his mom. I asked Ross and the counselor if this had been an accident and they assured me it was and that Noah had agreed it was. The counselor rightly thought I should be made aware of the event.

The next morning I asked Ross if he knew Noah’s last name and addressed a note to his Mom. I gave it to the same counselor and asked him to pass it on to her when they stopped to get Noah. In the note I had said to her that I had been made aware of the incident on the bus and was told that the boys agreed it was an accident. I said I hoped Noah was OK and that if she had any concerns, she should please call me and I listed my number.

Within 15 minutes my phone rang and I answered the call from Noah’s mom. She thanked me very much for sending the note and stressed Noah was fine and it was not a big deal at all. As she continued chatting away, I became aware that she had a lisp and this reminded me of something. I listened to her more attentively and at an appropriate time asked her if Noah had ever attended the gym that Ross used to go to. Through a few questions we worked out that we had indeed met before and this was the lady I had spoken to Daniel about those two years ago. I didn’t mention anything to her about the feelings of sadness I had picked up from her, but as she continued talking, she told me that at that time things were pretty rough for her. She had recently been divorced. Three months after that her mom had passed away and the whole situation was difficult for her as her ex husband works for her father. No mystery as to why I picked up feelings of sadness. Although it was a really long time coming, I was pleased we made our ways back to each other and agreed that we should get together for coffee.

On Friday afternoon as I was about to leave for my physical therapy appointment my phone rang. I saw from the caller ID that it was a cell phone number but I didn’t recognize it so decided to take the call even though it would delay me.

“Hi Dawn, this is the nurse from Ross’ camp.” Even though my heart felt like it instantly changed location in my body and had suddenly shifted to the rear exit door, in that split second I tried to reassure myself and while responding in that almost quivering voice with, “Oh .. hi …” I simultaneously think to myself, “Aaaah the nurse must be phoning me to tell me Ross is having an awesome day at camp.”

She went on to explain that Ross and another kid had literally had a head-on collision. One of them was running into the room, the other one was running out of the room – they didn’t see each other – BANG. Ross had split his left eye open just under the eyebrow and she thought it needed stitching.

Daniel had overheard the conversation and was already on his way upstairs from his office and looking for his keys.

She put Ross on the phone and the poor kid was in a complete state. He was crying and sounded very distressed. When I asked him if he was ok he got a few words out between the sobs and said, “No Mommy.” I explained to him that he would feel much better if he could calm himself down and that Daddy was already on his way to get him. (In the USA you get your kids from camp and your dog fetches the stick in the park – for the benefit of my South African readership!)

While waiting for Daniel to get back with him to come and get me to join them to the ER, I was trying to work out how we were going to calm Ross down sufficiently to get his eye stitched. He has been really fortunate and never suffered any serious injuries. The only shots (injections) that he has ever had to have were the usual childhood immunizations and various others required for immigration purposes. Anyone who had been sitting in the waiting rooms at the various places he has had these shots would stare at us on the way out in shock and horror from the blood curdling screaming they had been forced to listen to. Ross could practically screech, scream, yell, and make strange animal sounds that could peel paint off the wall as a needle would approach him. He would get himself into such a state that I would eventually have to yell at him to tell him he really needs to stop screaming because it is all over. I would find myself on the brink of calling him names to shut him up he would make such a production of it. And now, we were supposedly on our way to the ER for stitches … above his eye.

Fortunately for us the ER was quiet so we were seen immediately. When the nurse took a look at it and quickly said that they would be able to glue it rather than stitch it, I’m not kidding when I say that Ross collapsed into my lap with relief and shouted out, “Thank you God!” From that moment on he started getting color back in his cheeks and within an hour we were on our way home with the eye glued and no shots given.

The process worked incredibly well and exactly as the doctor explained, after not getting it wet for three days, the glue started flaking away and yesterday the last few pieces came away with the remaining scab. There was no pain or discomfort and it didn’t cause any problems for Ross over the weekend.

They say things happen in 3’s. You can read about the third BANG here. Hopefully that’s it for now with the BANGING!




For some additional 'chocolate fiend mug shots' look here.