i'm seriously considering changing the title of my blog. even the sparrow just isn't cutting it lately. too sweet. too serene. as my friend, kelly, just texted me tonight, "too sedate" for this season of life. i am thinking more along the lines of never a dull moment or the adventures of the swiss family mcnatts. i'm pretty sure one flew over the cuckoo's nest could work too.
today in the flurry of packing and preparing to leave for our minnesota mission(impossible), we found ourselves in the middle of yet another atlanta adventure. rick had flown out early this morning and the children were all home for a day off from school. walking in with an armload of groceries, i promptly began shooing the youngest three kids out of the house and into the backyard sunshine. "no tv today kiddos," i harped while herding them out the door. "go play in the woods...the yard...the great outdoors." (i wanted to add something smart [albeit, somewhat passive aggressive] like, "take advantage of it while you can!" -- but i managed to refrain.)
i had just opened the dryer door grabbing fistfuls of clean laundry when my 11 year old began screaming from the yard -- like real screaming. us moms know the difference between the pretend play and the preteen drama and the real live something is terribly wrong piercing cry of true alarm. and something was, indeed, terribly wrong. connor and sarah had been climbing trees in the yard and connor fell out....less than 10 feet, but on the way down his leg snagged a broken limb and it tore into his skin leaving a deep gash and a 5 inch laceration on the inside of his knee. i can only tell you i have never before seen anything like it. it was massive, wide open, with raw flesh hanging. we thought we were seeing bone. needless to say, it was well beyond what my mama kisses and box of bandaids could handle. i didn't hesitate dialing 911.
my oldest daughter had already left to take tyler to a friend's house and was on her way to target when she got the call from sarah, "emily, you have to come home right now, mom needs you...connor fell and his leg is ripped open...and an ambulance is coming..." just what every mother doesn't want -- her brand new driver racing home in a state of total panic. but that's exactly what happened. and what's more, as em pulled into our neighborhood, the ambulance and fire truck came blazing by her with lights flashing and sirens blaring. my newly driving daughter floored her car and followed right behind the speeding emergency vehicles. by the time she arrived home there was a police car out front, an ambulance in the driveway and a giant hook and ladder truck hovering. what a scene for her to come home to.
but back to connor. the poor boy was white as a ghost and shaking all over, he and i both decided it was just better to not look at the wound but to hug each other tightly as he perched on the countertop. the paramedics closed the gash and then recommended they transport the two of us to scottish rite -- our children's hospital. i always marvel in the presence of those who are medically skilled. (i am unequivocally, not). when i saw this injury, i couldn't imagine anything short of surgery. the doctors told connor it looked more like a shark attack. they encouraged him to stick with that story...he might get some good mileage out of a tale like that. connor couldn't help but smile, for you know, little boys aren't entirely distraught over their stitches and scars. connor kept telling the doctors, "but it was only a small tree." he wanted them to know he is capable of much grander foliage.
an ambulance ride, a trip to the ER and 14 stitches later and we are home tonight. a little worse for the wear maybe, but relatively speaking, all in one piece. we walked through the door and found signs of celebration set up in our kitchen. the other children had gone out and bought their brother a bunch of balloons, some candy and a few toys from the dollar store. connor hobbled into the house and took in the scene. his smile told me it was nice to know how much he is loved. since coming home, he's had three adoring sisters attending to his every need and a brother willing to carry him anywhere and willing to play anything. i don't like one bit what happened today, but i have to tell you, tonight i am especially touched by the display of love demonstrated by my kids for one another.
all night long, i have passed the balloons attached now to connor's bed. one of them says welcome home. i read it earlier tonight and stopped with a load of laundry in my arms thinking, "but wait a minute, we haven't even left yet." tomorrow is our trip to minnesota, and yet this balloon reads, welcome home. and i kind of welled up with tears, because it occurred to me at the end of this emotional day, this house isn't really our home. our home is the people in it. our home is the big brother and three sisters loving outlandishly on their little brother tonight...it is the mom and the dad and the dog and the whole entire wild mess of marriage and parenting and constant prayer...and as long as we are all together, we are home. accidents and injuries and insanity and everything. all of us together under one roof. any roof. any state. any weather.
tonight, baby girl sleeps cuddled up close beside me and that superstar 11 year old sister, save-the-day-sarah, is sleeping just below on my bedroom floor. she had been crying in her room earlier when i walked by...still rattled about what she witnessed today with her brother. she said she just couldn't get the picture of that wound and connor's frightened face out of her mind. i know how she feels. moments like these make us mamas want to gather close our kids -- to hold on tight -- to clasp them hard and not look at the wound but to look only at each other and only at our God. for that is what we do. because, without a doubt, life will provide plenty of situations to remind us there is never a dull moment, we are always just a step away from the cuckoo's nest and we are absolutely well tangled in the adventures of a family, swiss or otherwise.
and we can be sure, even the sparrow has found a home,indeed...
atlanta or minnesota or mars...
we have a home.