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November 23, 2007

A Thanksgiving To Remember

ThankfulMy husband and I were watching March of The Penguins, the Academy Award winning documentary about emperor penguins.  Morgan Freeman lulled us with his narration, describing how the penguins braved the weather and predators to mate and start a family.  We held hands and one of our sons slept at our side.  Romantic, right?  Domestic bliss?  Not quite.  We were in a pediatric emergency room.

In the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, our younger son (aka The Bear) climbed on a ladder, fell and hit his head on the floor.  Then came the silent scream, the shrill cry, and the puke all over dad.  Soon a giant welt formed on his head.  We were visiting my family in Boston, and fortunately, my neurologist brother went with us to the hospital.

And so began our lovely evening in the ER.  Nurses and doctors poked and prodded and generally pissed off The Bear.  He wanted nothing to do with me and repeatedly cried for Dada and his "bow wow," the dog he sleeps with each night.  Eventually, the doctor let him go to sleep and we took turns lying with him on the gurney. 

So he slept, and we worried.  As I lay on my side, with The Bear curled against me, I watched mom and dad penguins do everything within their power to keep their egg from freezing over.  They staged an elaborate dance, passing this egg between them.  The went for weeks without food to keep that egg warm.  And so my mind wandered.  Why, I thought to myself, had I allowed anything to bother me earlier in the day?  How could I have been annoyed that our landlord raised our rent again? How could I have been so fixated on the whole pre-school application process?  Why was I obsessing over whether or not we would stay in the city or move to the suburbs?  None of it really mattered.  Everything would sort itself out.  All that mattered was that the kids were fine.  Everyone was healthy and we were having a nice Thanksgiving dinner.  Or at least, we had been.

There is little worse than sitting in a hospital, waiting for test results, and for a doctor to tell you that your child is fine.  Little worse than the sick feeling that that you should have been watching more closely.  All I have to say is, I'm glad there was a TV in our room.  And most importantly, after 6 hours of hanging out in the ER, the doctor gave us the all clear and sent us home.  We settled The Bear into his bed, and he gratefully clutched his Bow Wow.
Thursday may have been Thanksgiving, but I'm planning on giving thanks again.  And again.  And maybe I'll find a stuffed animal penguin to go with Bow Wow.  I think The Bear would love it.


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