Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scarred For Life

Most of my weekends are trauma free, so to be on my second one this weekend already is a bit disconcerting. Normally, I’d be working on Friday and Saturday nights, smiling and encouraging people that have no business eating fried food to try what was a harmless onion that our cooks have turned into a potential heart attack. But this weekend, I took time off to have some fun with my friends, which hasn’t exactly worked out yet, but I have to say I’m okay with that because I’m getting in lots of quality family time.

The quality time started when I heard my husband and three screaming children come busting in the front door last night at 6:30. I had just stepped out of the shower and was trying to find something fabulous to wear out with my best friend. I didn’t panic, initially, because it’s, unfortunately, not uncommon to hear all three kids screaming. But after my husband bounded up the stairs with Reckless, both of them covered in blood, I realized I probably didn’t need to waste any more time finding the perfect shirt, that I should probably just grab a disposable one.

My husband, ever the calm one, said, “She had a bike wreck; I was just going to see how bad it is and if we should take her to the Emergency Room.” I was like, “IF?!!!?!?? She’s got maybe a pint of blood left in her and isn’t that her chin bone!?” He looked and was like, “Oh. Yeah; let’s go.” Meantime, the other two were screaming, crying and grieving for her. I heard my son tell her twin, Stretch, that she was dead. I quickly interrupted their loud memorial service to assure them that she was alive, and while not necessarily well, she would be soon. I know you’re wondering, “How bad could a four-year-old’s bike wreck be?” Well, she stopped using training wheels when she was three and a half and now she’s training for motorcross. General Mills is thinking about a sponsorship since she’s pretty heavy into Kix cereal, too.

She was so brave at the hospital, as they examined each and every bone and joint and looked over the less serious abrasions and bumps. This is a girl that doesn’t cry when she gets shots, doesn’t cry when she falls down, and doesn’t even have a healthy dose of fear. So when they told us they often have to put children her age to sleep to stitch up their faces, we were confident in letting them try it on her awake. Funny how ten seasons of ER, several years of playing that game Operation, and even watching as I got my own stitches a few years ago did nothing, NOTHING, to prepare me for the horror of what they had to do to her chin. Seeing layers of flesh and tissue in a textbook is so much less threatening than seeing it on your child. I had to look away. But when I did, I saw my husband, who watched the entire procedure, which was a lot more than sewing. I thought it was very brave of him. Until. . . (WARNING: Mom stop reading now! Seriously, don’t read any further!)

I saw him slaughter an anaconda in the backyard this afternoon! I was passing by the big bay window in the breakfast nook, where Reckless and Stretch were painting, in lieu of working on meeting their health care deductibles, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw my husband raise a shovel over his head. That didn’t correlate with the seeding the lawn work he was supposedly doing outside, so I looked. He was clearly trying to kill something, and from the amount of blows he was giving it, it wasn’t a tiny creature. I told the girls to stay put and then stepped onto the deck. Which I wouldn’t have done had I realized that it meant never sleeping peacefully through the night again. I guess, technically, it was a black snake, but its resemblance to the reptiles I saw in that J.Lo movie, Anaconda, was uncanny. Like they were separated at birth or something. Now I’ll have to ask all but the bravest of readers to stop reading; it’s about to get freaky. . .

He had chopped this huge snake into several smaller, less threatening snakes. BUT, (excuse me while a shiver runs down my spine) they were all moving!! And not just a little bit. And not just for a few seconds. Did I mention that I left that back door open and my kids, along with a neighbor kid had come to see what the commotion was about? So, I won’t be the only one having nightmares tonight.

I’ve put a For Sale sign in the front yard, and in my best friend’s front yard, because obviously I can’t move to Hawaii, where there are no native snakes, without her. I like it here, but after cleaning up all that blood last night like a crime scene investigator and now with my new inability to go into the breakfast nook, let alone go outside, it’s probably time to move on.

*Correction: My husband dismembered the snake with a switchblade, not a shovel. And he’d also like you to know that he can bench press 450!Photobucket


  1. oh, dear, Lord! You live in the Raleigh area, right? As do I, so I hope to see no snakes in my yard ANYtime soon!
    Ewwww! It gives me the willies just thinking about it...
    glad your daughter is ok!