It wasn’t the pickax Drew wielded overhead, bringing it down steadily onto a concrete block, repeatedly, until it was crushed into Oreo-sized bits. When I saw the shards flying about, I made him put on a pair of safety glasses. That was a good mom-move, but I could have made it fifteen minutes earlier.
While Drew chipped away at the block, Porter collected a variety of sharp, rust-covered objects and placed them into the sand pile, creating an ancient village. All of us are up to date on our tetanus shots, so I let this activity continue.
Nor did I stymie their attempts to climb onto the roof of the storage shed. They worked up quite a sweat in the process and came in for water and Goldfish.
Later the duo got their BB guns and walked to the pond to hunt. They returned in high spirits, having shot the head off a turtle. Was this part of growing up male, I wondered, or did it foreshadow Dahmer-like tendencies?
Either way, I didn’t have time to ponder long, because that’s when I heard a whimper from Drew and, “Mom, Drew needs you and there’s blood!” from Porter.
The culprit was the fish knife, encased in an intriguingly decorated leather case. It sliced deep into Drew’s thumb, and blood spewed onto the porch that I had swept not five minutes earlier.
I left Porter at the house with his grandmother on the way while Drew and I rushed to the emergency room. He’s a tough kid, but tears were rolling down his cheeks, and he complained of feeling dizzy.
The doctor came and asked Drew what he’d been doing that morning. I tensed up, hoping Drew wouldn’t go into the excruciating detail that is his habit. It wasn’t even noon, and the boy had chopped concrete, scaled buildings, murdered helpless animals and slashed his thumb. And those were only the activities I had witnessed. None of this made me look like the mother of the year.
Perhaps because of the gallons of blood he’d lost, Drew murmured only that he’d been opening the fishing knife and cut himself. He then endured a terse lecture from the ER doctor on the danger of playing with knives, while I gave thanks that the doctor didn’t know the half of it.
Once they numbed his thumb in preparation for stitches, Drew cheered up quickly. In fact, he was he was too peppy for my liking. I caught him looking at his identification bracelet, which said “Age/Sex” in large letters, and snickering.
“Why do they have to put that word on there?” he asked, pointing. He wasn’t pointing to the word “Age.”
“So the doctors and nurses know you’re a nine-year-old male, and don’t get you mixed up with that granny down the hall.” She was moaning, “Lord Jesus, I was at the altar, and then I was at the hospital. Just take me home now.”
I made a mental note to ask Finn whether he and Drew had been discussing matters of a reproductive nature. I may have to dust off my Talk and prepare to give it again, solo this time.
While we waited for the stitches, we admired Drew’s socks. They reflected a full morning of whacking, hunting and climbing and were destined for the trash, so I captured them for posterity.
Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: All About You