When you have a week where it is simply too hot to play outside, the plants wilt before you get them in the ground, your lypmhedema flares up when you venture out to volunteer in your children’s classrooms (the heat makes your arms swell), the washer breaks, the electrician is late, the repair guy cancels, the laundry builds up, your kids have accidents and muddy socks, the repair guys spend the morning working on the roof right next to your shower, the pest control guy shows you a swarm of termites between your house and the next, the speech teacher your child trusts retires, your kid can’t hear you because his ears are so full of wax (literally! we now have an ENT to add to the list of regular appointments), he struggles with worry, and you miss the last t-ball practice because you’re in a car accident on the beltway (why yes, I did bury the lede – it doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?), it’s nice to know that:
– you have friends that are so awesome that they text you in the ER, one offering to come and sit with you, one long distance wishing she could come and sit with you, and one who just shows up even when you didn’t tell her to which ER you were taken;
– you have friends to playdate with the next day so that the kids can forget the traumatic experience (low speed accident, middle lane of I-495 at 5:11 p.m., the other driver wouldn’t let me move the car to the shoulder, so the traffic began to speed by angrily on both sides);
– the other driver will respond calmly, after he finally moves off your hood and agrees to let you move to the side of the road, and even be nice to you and your kids as you stand wedged between the van and the poision ivy lining the shoulder for 20 minutes waiting for the police to arrive;
– fire and rescue will eventually find you on the beltway, after 2 phone calls to 911 and a call back (note: they don’t call you back from 911. A return call from 911 showed up on my phone as 689. Luckily I answered it. The second time.);
– the ambulance will have air conditioning, teddy bears, and a young EMT who is happy to speak Ben 10 and Pokemon with the boys;
– the children are resiliant. (They didn’t cry or scream or panic. They were surprisingly fine.);
– you can communicate by text even if the shock of the accident and the noise of ten lanes of traffic means you can’t hear anything on the cell phone, including your husband’s patient questions and 911;
– your husband will understand that you can’t hear him, and listen to both your words and your panic, driving to come get you and the children even before he knows where on the beltway you are;
– your husband will drive through rush hour traffic to rescue you and the kids, arriving at the same time as the fire truck (although he couldn’t get over to the shoulder in time, forcing him to take the next exit, head the other direction, exit again, and try it all again);
– fire and rescue will help you uninstall the car seats so you can move them to the second vehicle (and yes, we did throw them out after we got home);
– the ambulance will drive quickly and carefully, and there’s no wait at the ER;
– you will eventually calm down, even if it takes the ER nurse talking to you for it to happen;
– the scans would be just routine, and no ribs or bones or anything were broken, even though they are fragile from the femara, chemo, and the bone mets;
– eventually you would be released, with paperwork and CD of the scans, with your friend, and she would drive you home even after you had been talking nonsense due to the shock and the drugs;
– the children would have long been asleep, safe, secure, at home with their daddy;
– the next day would be ok. it would be hard, sure, but the kids would be fine and the back would just be achy and friends would come over and we would get through it; and
– when one child cried out in the night, the other would wake and put his hand on my back (I had been putting him back down after a nightmare too), sleepily telling his brother, “It’s okay. Mom is here.”
Because I was. And I am. I’m here. We’re all okay. It’s a little hard to concentrate on the routine right now, but we are all so grateful that we’re okay and that no one hit us when we sat stopped in the middle lane of the beltway with our hazard lights on for too many minutes while we couldn’t move forward because of the other vehicle, couldn’t move backward because of the traffic (hello, beltway!), and feared what would become of us when a speeding car slammed into our stopped selves. But we’re okay.
We’re all okay.
Mom is here.