It’s 11:00pm Christmas day eve as I write this post, and I have spent the last three hours in the emergency room with my 2-year old son.
As I go through my mental Rolodex of things I worry about happening to my children, getting hit by a car is usually number one. Sometimes I worry about a fall of some sort, and even getting bitten by a dog is in the top ten. A gravy boat is not even in the top 100.
It was literally two minutes before my whole family was going to sit down to eat. The food was all prepared and laid out on the kitchen counter. Aunts and Uncles, grandparents and cousins were busy filling the house with a festive air. I was putting the mashed potatoes in the microwave to heat them up when I heard my wife yell and immediately afterwards my son scream.
At first I thought is was just some everyday domestic trauma, but the increasing intensity of my son’s screams told me something was very, very wrong.
As we were all trying to put the finishing touches on the food, my son must have seen his reflection on the side of insulated gravy boat that was sitting on the counter. As he reached up to grab it, he pulled it over, dumping the scalding hot liquid inside of it on top of him.
I immediately grabbed him, pulled off his shirt which was holding the burning liquid against his skin, and jumped into our garage shower fully clothed. I was hoping the water would cool him down and that the burn was not so bad.
Unfortunately the blisters rising on his skin told me that this was not the case and I began to hope that he only had second degree burns instead of something worse.
My wife bundled him in a blanket and we jumped into the car and headed to our local hospital.
Strange things go through your mind in moments like this. Suddenly feeling “stressed” out because you had to do last-minute holiday shopping seems kinda stupid. Theorizing about who is going to win the GOP nomination doesn’t rate too high anymore. And worrying if you should have taken a partial in $AAPL instead of swinging the whole position after it made an end of day run on Friday drops completely off the list.
All I could concentrate on was getting my burned son to the hospital, and relief, as soon as possible. I knew that with burns time is of the essence and I was weaving in and out cars as fast as I could trying to shave every second off the trip I could. It may seem stupid but I didn’t want him to look at himself in the mirror some day twenty years down the line and see scars what could have been avoided if I has just gotten him to the ER a few minutes sooner.
As we got within a half mile of the hospital, I began to try to pass the car ahead of me, but he moved over into my lane preventing me from passing. I hit the brakes and tried to go back around him from the lane I just came from, but he cut back in front of me. I slowed and he slowed. I tried to speed up, and he did the same. He was playing with me, not allowing me to pass.
I couldn’t believe what was happening. My flesh and blood was in pain, pain I would have gladly taken times ten instead of him if I could, and some fucking idiot was playing a game with me.
I finally gunned the engine and moved around the car, and as I did I glimpsed two young twenty-somethings grinning and laughing at me, fully aware of what they had been doing.
My son is okay. Right now he is sandwiched between my wife and myself on the “big bed”, drinking some chocolate milk, and watching Nick Jr. I don’t know how the gravy missed his face or more importantly his eyes, but fortunately it only hit the top of his chest and his lower neck. He does have 2nd degree burns on his chest, but despite the redness and blisters, as long as there is no infection (which is highly unlikely), he should have no lasting scars or marks.
But as I say a silent “thank you” that my son is okay, I can’t stop thinking about the two guys in that car. I want to get angry at them, but I can’t, because numerous times in my life I have been those guys.
I used to think it was so cute and clever to prevent vehicles in a hurry from passing me. In my younger and more arrogant days I rationalized that these drivers were reckless and that I was “teaching them a lesson” by making them slow down.
Chances are the majority them were in fact just jerks that drove with no regards for safety or the rules of the road, but I have to say that to myself because the alternative is too painful to face.
Is there somebody out there right now looking at a scar that they only have because their father could not get them around me, and to the hospital in enough time to prevent it? Did the last words of a dying loved one get missed due to my ”road police” antics? Was there a tragedy that could have been avoided if the calming personality who was stuck behind me had arrived just a bit earlier.
I don’t know. I will never know. I can only kiss my son and pray that it’s not so.
(Note: If you are new to my blog, I post about all sorts of things. Sometimes it involves something extremely personal, like creating a 30K baby or a trading blow up. Other times it deals with hot ex-porn stars who trade stocks. And sometimes it’s about how to avoid “suicide”. But a good place to start is The Best of bclund. If you like what you read, please tell a friend. If you don’t, please tell two friends.)