One of those "parent nightmares" happened this weekend. The one where you get a phone call from one of your kids who is babysitting.
Caller I.D. told us it was Abby calling from her babysitting job at the house of some of our friends.
"Um, hello, Dad?"
"Yeah, Abby. What's going on?"
"I, ah, stepped on a nail. Could someone come over?"
Before the words were even out of his mouth to tell me what had happened, I grabbed my keys and sped down the street. It probably took me 30 seconds to get to the house where, in the fading light, I could see Abby standing on one foot.
As I got closer I could see her other foot, the foot she was holding up, and from it was dangling a board. WHAT ON EARTH?!
"Abby, what happened?!"
"We were playing Ghost in the Graveyard, and I fell into the window well. The Smiths were having trouble with raccoons, so Mr. Smith put this board with a bunch of nails sticking out of it to catch the racoons."
At this point I realize I have to be a mom. I have to put my complete hatred of blood aside and conjure up any amount of courage I might have to even make some sense of the situation.
"Hey, Abby, let's try to get you to the car so we can get you to the hospital. That board can't just stay there, attached to your foot."
"NO MOM!! I don't want to go to the hospital. I'll just pull it out."
Any protestations on my part weren't going to do any good, so the boys Abby was babysitting, who were so sweetly trying to do whatever they could to help, got her a chair.
Within ten minutes my brave not-so-little-anymore girl had that nail (which we later figured out was actually a screw) pulled out of her foot. I was amazed as I watched my daughter valiantly take care of the situation without shedding even a single tear. At that moment I realized that she really has grown up. She didn't need me there . . . she wanted me there.
We got her home, soaked the foot, and packed it with Neosporin. But, poor thing, it's swollen now, and it hurts like crazy (gee, wonder why!), so we're heading to the doc to have it checked out . . . just in case.
So all weekend the nagging thought in the back of my mind has been what happens to the poor raccoons when they step on a nail? It's a question that will no longer have to be answered because our friend told us yesterday that the boards are already in the fire pit.
(Update: Abby ended up getting a prescription for an antibiotic for a week--"just in case." She wanted to go back to school, so she's there now, hobbling on crutches and trying to make the best of it. Just the other day B called her tenacious. I'll say!)