“Are you friend or foe?”

March 9, 2011 § 14 Comments


We had our first emergency room visit. Everyone is fine and the injury was fairly minor; my oldest son fell on some metal bleachers and needed stitches. He is a super kid. (The type of kid who asks if I’m comfortable while carrying him into the ER.) He was a champ and a half through the entire ordeal. Despite having the clarity and knowledge that everything was fine, I still felt tender and vulnerable while holding his hand in the ER hospital bed. 

While we waited in the curtained off room, we read Elizabeth Winthrop’s A CASTLE IN THE ATTIC together. It’s a book I read as girl. It’s about a boy who inherits a toy castle and a tin knight from his nanny before she leaves him to go back to England forever. Something about the boy breaks a curse the knight has been under and he comes to life. I’ll put an excerpt of a portion we read in context with the point I’m trying to make (I do have one, I think).

He pulled the metal helmet off his head and set it down carefully beside him, smoothing the red plume with his fingers.

I stopped reading to explain what a plume was, but my son interrupted. “I know what a plume is, Mom.”

“Are you friend or foe?” the knight shouted. “I am not frightened by your size, my good sir, and I will fight you with every ounce of strength left in me, if that be your wish.”

William stiffled a giggle. He was being threatened by a seated miniature man waving a pin-sized knife!

“It might be easier to fight me standing up, my lord, although I don’t doubt your strength or courage. Let me help you up. I am your friend and shall ever remain so, if you will allow it.” William was quite proud of his little speech. Those hours of reading about King Arthur with Mrs. Phillips had paid off after all.”

My son touched my arm at that point. “There are a lot of friends here,” he said. “Everyone is so nice. No foes.”

I tried not to cry. Indeed, we’d been blessed with many friends and angels throughout the day which started with two of his friends at school. One of them took his shirt off and pressed it against my son’s wound while the other ran to get a teacher. If that isn’t love from two second grade boys, I don’t know what is. Thank you, boys.

The teachers that wrapped the wound, calmed him down until I could get there, and bragged on him when I arrived. Thank you.

The kind man who signed us into triage when my son was still a little frightened of the adventure. He assured him by answering all of his questions about all the medical equipment, discussing the probability of their transformation into robots. Thank you.

The nurses and doctors that took such careful time, playing with him, making him laugh. After we got home, his teachers, school headmaster, and (several) friends called to inquire on him. Thank you.

In short, I am overwhelmed at the love and care he received. It’s heart-breaking in the best way. Thank you.

I took my son on a run with me a few nights ago in the jog stroller. He is much too big for it, but went along with me anyway. During the run he said, “Mom, I turn eight in a few weeks and I have a laser pointer. Life is pretty good right now.”

The simplicity of that statement made me laugh and I’m thankful all the more.

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