It was obviously my fault. Let's get that out of the way. I was sitting at the counter in the kitchen, and Sophia was perched on another chair behind me, combing my hair. If this sounds peaceful, you have never been coiffed by a four year old. She smoothed and yanked and chattered non-stop.
"OH, that looks very pretty," she declared, having arranged my hair in something approximating a bird's nest. That had been electrocuted. And stomped on. "I made your hair so PRETTY, Mommy! I do everything good."
And then there was a great crash and immediate wail. I whipped around to see that she'd not only fallen, she'd somehow tipped over her chair, which had landed on her. I scooped her up to see that she'd taken the brunt of the chair to the top of her foot.
"It hurts SO MUCH," she sobbed. I held her on my lap for a long time, and inspected her foot. It looked slightly swollen, but not bad. It would bruise eventually, but not yet. I set her down and asked her to take a few steps, and she touched it to the floor and yanked it back. "It HURTS to step it!" She started crying again.
Ugh. Just recently I said to a group of moms - out loud, like some kind of amateur - that we've only ever had one broken bone, and that was over a decade ago. Obviously I had brought this upon my daughter's tender foot.
I waited a while to see if it would pass, but an hour later she was still clutching her ice pack and collapsing in tears whenever the foot touched the floor. I called the doctor.
It was inconvenient, having to arrange an appointment this afternoon. That may sound hard-hearted, but it was already a complicated day. The clutch on Tre's car went out this weekend, so it's in the shop (apparently being coddled by fairies and unicorns, whilst leprechauns hand-forge a new clutch, given what it's going to cost). This meant I had to pick him up from school, gah. And Max had a saxophone lesson, and he and Raphi needed a spare hour or so to do some yard work for a neighbor. It was all barely going to fit in as it was.
Then I got a text from Tre, telling me he'd have to be at school late for...ahem. Detention.
He'd gotten detention from an incident that happened last week. He was walking his girlfriend to her car, and he put his arm around her and kissed her on the cheek. The principal was nearby, and BAM. They both got busted for Public Display of Affection. No, really. The school counsellor confirmed the story.
I don't know what to say about this, to be honest. I consider myself pretty conservative, particularly when it comes to my kids and their shenanigans. But...I don't actually think it's inappropriate for Tre to give his girlfriend a peck on the cheek. I...don't.
And yet, rules are rules, and I'm not going to go scream at school officials to preserve my special snowflake. Both Tre and his girlfriend had to stay after for detention, so I texted him and advised him to try to keep his hands to himself in detention.
Tomorrow's the last day of school for Tre. As of 11:30 tomorrow, he's officially a senior. This has been a brutal year. I have never seen him work so hard, and in the end he really impressed me. He learned to work at studying in a way that few people ever do, I think. And yet he didn't quite get all the grades he'd hoped for. Mostly, but not entirely. Pretty soon he'll start applying to colleges, and his dream college is still possible, but oh, it's a thinner margin than I like.
I was unprepared for how hard this era is. I feel like I'm perpetually stumbling over my own feet, not sure when it's my job to direct him, and when I'm supposed to shut up and let this near man find his own way. The stakes just keep getting higher, and all I want is for him to be okay, always, in every way. It's all I ask.
But first this afternoon I had to deal with was Sophia and her foot. As I drove to the doctor's office, she (somewhat predictably) chattered behind me.
"Will you carry me into the office?" And I promised I would. "Will you carry me out again?" Yes, of course. "Will I get another shot?" No, not this time. "Will I get an X-ray like in my book?" Yup, probably. "What if I had the doctor's office on my head? And it was small? And the doctor was teeny tiny, and he climbed down my head? And down my shoulder? And over my tummy? And down my leg? So he could see my hurt foot?" I...um.
The doctor poked at her foot, and she gave him Precious Moments eyes and nodded somberly when he asked if it hurt. We were sent off for an X-ray, and then right back, so the doctor could immediately pull up the images and give us a verdict. Technology is so good, y'all.
Turns out nothing is broken. She's fine, just bruised.
"A contusion," the doctor said, trying to make it sound better for my behalf, I think.
"Suffering from a small case of drama," the nurse said, a mother of four herself.
The medical orders are for her to take it easy, and to not do anything that hurts her foot. I slung her onto my hip, and carried her out to deal with the rest of the day.
As I strapped her into her seat, my mental fret-o-meter swung away from "my baby is hurt" over to "how much money did I just waste?"
But then again, the sun was shining, and Sophia was radiant because she had a Backyardigans sticker, and Mom was going to buy us all dinner.
Do too much, do too little. I don't know if I'll ever find my footing, exactly. I only pray that despite my best efforts, it will all turn out alright.