Life, ya'll... it's messy.
I got up this morning took a shower, then headed to the laundry room to fold and load and fuss. My daily laundry thing... While I was in there, Zane came out of his room. He had bed head. His eyes were still have shut. He was shuffling around, half asleep.
I immediately stopped what I was doing, grabbed his hand, and led him to the little couch in our bedroom where I laid with him sprawled across me (because he doesn't fit ON me anymore) until he finished waking up. I rubbed his back. I smelled his smell. I realized, at that moment, that my boys were all safe and sound. And I realized a half second later, that it was a fleeting moment of security that I would be letting slip through my fingers the second he got up.
It's scary... when you learn that life is unpredictable.
It's scary... when you are taught that what you assumed was untouchable, isn't.
It's scary... when that 2x4 hits you between the eyes - again - with a reminder of how precious life really is.
Melodramatic much? probably, but I've had a VERY traumatic week. Grant me the freedom to be a little introspective - and a little weepy.
For anyone who isn't on Facebook or may have missed my posts since Monday evening, Spencer was in an accident on Monday. He was with some of his friends, just hanging out and being teenage boys. Were they doing stupid stuff? Yes. Were they doing anything we haven't all done at some point? Probably not.
I got a call from one of his friends. The friend alerted me that Spencer had been hurt but "was all right". He shared that an ambulance had been called. ("What?") He said again, "he's alright" and then proceeded to share that he was bleeding out of his ear. ("That doesn't sound "all right"!")
It took me about 35 minutes to get to the hospital. I don't really remember much of the drive. A million things went through my mind - not all of which I am very proud of.
I was in denial - no doubt. Spencer is big and strong. He's an Ox. He can't be hurt. One of my other boys, maybe, but not Spencer. He's like bulletproof.
I was scared. Blood from the ear can't be good. What causes blood from the ear? Nothing I could think of was encouraging.
I was mad. (And I am ashamed of this... but it the real truth.) I was really looking forward to watching him play football the next day. I was really proud of how he was performing on the field and was mad that something had happened that had put that joy of watching him in jeopardy. I was mad that the goals he had for his season were likely now no longer achievable.
I was guilty. Why did I let him go over there? Why did I spend the day working on my computer instead of doing some kind of fun family thing so he was with me? Why didn't I know exactly who he was with or exactly what he was doing?
When I got to the hospital, Spence was strapped to a gurney and heading to get a CT scan. He was covered with blood. He was awake and alert, but seemed confused. I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say. I look back at how I behaved in the ER and can't say I am super proud. I detached myself from reality. I didn't cry. (I did want to vomit, but I didn't.) I don't know if I told him I loved him.
We had some visitors, all of which I am SO thankful for. It was so nice to have some friendly faces there. And having Berber there with us was a huge help and source of comfort - for me at least and I think for Spencer as well.
After an excruciatingly long wait (reality was less than an hour), we found out that his CT scan was normal. He was OK. He has a concussion and he burst an ear drum - which bled like CRAZY. But he was OK. He would be OK.
We are blessed.
And we have, once again, a reset sense of perspective. We have been, once again, reminded of what is really important. We are, once again, focused on the stuff that really matters - for the long run. Hint - it's not a middle school tackle record.
Tuesday night Spencer's team played a rival school. This other middle school feeds into the same high school that we will go to. These players on the opposing team will be teammates next year. We play lacrosse with many of them. We played rec league little kid football with lots of them. We know these families. It would have been fun to watch Spencer play in that game, but instead he was home, alone, in his dark room, resting his concussed brain.
I went to the game. I went because I have responsibilities to that team, to those kids, regardless of whether Spencer is there or not. I went because I felt like I needed to go. And what I saw there kind of restored my faith in the whole concept of team sports. It was a blatant reminder of WHY we play. The physical skills gained through sports play are fine, but it's real benefit of being on a team go far beyond the win/loss record. What you CAN get out of a team is way bigger than learning to run, pass, catch, block, or tackle.
Spencer's team wore wristbands with his number on them. They wore his nickname proudly printed on their wrists. They brought his jersey. They carried it in honor of him out for the Captain's coin toss. They screamed and chanted along the sidelines. "Do it for Sid!" "Get them for Bovy!" "Play for Spencer!" (For reasons I don't really know, everyone calls Spencer Sid...)
I nearly broke down into sobs a dozen times. They love him. He loves them back. That team is something special - and it's not because they are still perfect on the season. They are a family. They are brothers. They are one.
So now we are in a recovery period. We saw a concussion specialist today from the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Sports Medicine team. We learned that he's still somewhat sub-normal in his brain ability - thanks to a baseline test we had on file. (NOTE - if you know someone who plays sports and doesn't have a concussion baseline test on file, please go get one!) But we also learned that he's going to be fine and he can start getting back into his normal life. After missing 3 days of school, he will go back tomorrow for a while. He's still having headaches, but he's better every day. His school nurse and counselors are working with us to help make sure that he's got the accommodations he will need over the coming weeks to fully recover.
He's going to be fine.
We are blessed.
And he'll likely be ready to play football again* in time for the playoffs. :)
For anyone thinking we may be re-thinking our commitment to the "violent" game of football, I will simply say that we are not. Spencer got injured doing normal life stuff. He was lifted back up through football. It's a good trade-off in my opinion.
Go hug your kids. Or someone else's kids.
Remember how unpredictable life is.
And know that for every one of you who sent up a prayer that Spencer would be OK, I thank you. I thank you VERY much! It has been SO VERY heartwarming to see "our people" come together to support us through this. You all know who you are and please know that I love you all!