I don't like to see my children bleeding from the mouth. It's a totally unnecessary experience. Why on earth do people make bed frames so dangerous? YaYa was just traipsing along until she tripped on one of the blankets that she and Kid A and Jed had been cheerfully throwing around the room, put her hands out to catch herself, and caught the entire weight of the fall with her teeth on the inside of her upper lip. Trauma. And mayhem. I guess we're going to have to tape foam padding all around our bed. And it was a good thing that Chinua decided to stay home from worship last night, because I was flapping around the room wringing my hands and saying, "I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do! oh my gosh, her nose is bleeding too! She probably broke it!" Chinua was the one instructing me to hold the washcloth in her mouth to soak up the blood and the one who reassured me that the blood coming from her nose was only blood that she had choked up from her throat. And I'm glad that Elena and Jed were in our cabin hanging out with us, too, because Elena had the brilliant idea of giving her one of the juice Popsicles that she has stored in our freezer. It seemed to help, and the three kids slurped away on their Popsicles, thinking: score!
I'm sure that at least part of YaYa's distress stemmed from the look of absolute horror that I was unable to wipe off my face when I looked at her. I was nauseous with it. My hurt baby. And I'm sure that at least a little of my distress stemmed from the fact that I am pregnant and therefore swimming with all sorts of protective hormonal instincts.
Here's the thing: It really, really hurts when your kids get hurt. They are just so perfect. It seems wrong for any part of them to be torn or broken. One of the first things that I noticed after I had Kid A was how old I looked compared to him. I would hold his little baby face up against mine in the mirror and think, Ugh... who is that ugly old crone next to the angel boy there? And I was only twenty-two. But, babies have no wrinkles, no blemishes, and they have big moist eyes like baby deer. Also, my babies have this perfect brown glamour skin that glows like the light in a great cathedral. YaYa right now is as delicious as a perfect peach. She is soft and adorable and lovely. She always smells like cake. This is why it is terrible to see her hurt, and especially bleeding. It was a pretty minor injury, I guess. And I do better than my best friend, Dori, who faints at the sight of blood, and had to sit with her head between her knees recently when her daughter scraped her knee at the beach. The lifeguards took care of the bandaid while Dori sat and breathed and tried not to faint.
My brother put his teeth through his lip, twice, when he was a little boy. But, other than that, we barely had anything go wrong, as kids. No broken bones. I'm holding my breath for my kids. It's terrifying, really, but God has them, just as He has us. It just makes my heart hurt for parents who have to deal with the ultimate sorrows of having children who are sick or broken. Last night my dreams were filled with blood and teeth. And a strange sequence where I thought that Chinua was buying me roses but was really buying himself some flowers that turned out to be coffee flavoured ice cream. He offered me some, though, which seemed to make up for the fact that they weren't roses for me.
This morning we brought YaYa in our bed and just cuddled her and cuddled her. We lay there adoring her and she sucked her two middle fingers like she does and looked back at us with trusting brown eyes.