My ridiculous child managed to get himself run over on Friday.
No really RUN OVER. By a CAR. Flung on to the bonnet so hard he cracked the window screen with his scull. Then because he is Finley and rates kindness very highly he stood up and apologised to the driver and asked HIM if he was alright.
Having only encouraged him to walk to school alone the week before, my heart had been in my mouth each day as I crossed him over the main road and stood waving in my pom pom slippers and crazy lady morning hair-do, until I could no longer see him. And by the end of the week I was feeling calmer. As if my little bird had flown the nest for the first time without plummeting to the ground like a fluffy feathered stone.
And then the morning came when I waved him goodbye, made a cup of tea and nipped upstairs to the loo. And there I sat. And I heard a knock on the door and I heard a man tell Ste that there had been an accident and I thought perhaps another car had knocked my passenger mirror clean off for the second time in a week and then I heard him say “your son” and that made no sense at all because Ste’s son was miles away and surely tucked behind his desk in his lovely maroon and yellow uniform. And then in my Mummy this isn’t possible bewilderment I thought that maybe Finley had caused this man an accident and was himself now in school and then I heard him say “smashed his head on my window-screen” and I ran.
I ran out of the ludicrously small toilet with my trousers round my legs, dragging myself together and fuelled by sheer fright I tumbled down the stairs and arrived at the door to see a very baldy kind looking man looking stressed with a very confused looking Finley standing beside him. And I listened and kept laughing for that is my wont when faced with a crisis (I somehow managed to laugh all the way through the arrangement of my Mum’s funeral) and I was doing a very bizarre thing and reaching a wobbly hand out to the sorry looking man and apologising profusely to him for RUNNING MY SON OVER and rather perplexingly feeling absolutely LIVID with Finley for stepping out from behind a lorry and not looking after himself when I wasn’t there to look after him and generally feeling much of a muddle and dragging him in and checking him from head to toe and phoning everyone I know who assured me I needed to get him to the hospital as soon as possible and kissing my boy profusely and phoning my Dad and having an unexpected little sob and listening to Finn relay his own astonishment at having found himself flying through the air and running back out of the conservatory to tell him off for getting in the man’s car and apologising profusely all over again for not understanding that all the grown-ups who had watched him get run down, including the lollipop man with the bad teeth and charming manner, had insisted on him getting driven home and then getting muddled over again and shouting “what part of stranger danger do you not understand?” and laughing all over again when he shouted back “I just wanted to go to science and now I’m missing it and I HAVE BEEN RUN OVER and MUM what part of that do YOU not understand??”.
In the face of a crisis I am utterly hopeless.
And then we were in the car on our way to the children’s accident and emergency for the third time in two weeks and I was worrying that they were going to set social services upon me for being incapable of preventing screechy attacks of constipation and road traffic accidents alike. And then the nurse was quizzing Finn on the whereabouts of the earphones she was convinced he must have been wearing and I was trying to say that this is a kid with SPD who feels like his head is going to blow off if he wears earphones and she said he had been very, very lucky and was bruised from head to toe with bruised kidneys and Finley was starting to feel a bit funny and I was a Mummy on the verge of a meltdown and Ste was as sane and reassuring as ever and then Mark arrived in his usual frantic state and repeated with all the same drama I had been displaying “he could have been dead Alison!” over and over again until we were all laughing, and then he took Finn to the road where it had happened and found the man who had done it standing in the same spot, demanding money for the smashed window-screen caused by our son’s head!
Oh my. So yes. I have been Nurse Mummy for a few days and I am writing this to tell you that trauma happens when you are least expecting it. Sometimes when you are minding your own business on the loo and there is no predicting how you will cope with it, but that more often than not your worst nightmare isn’t actually your worst nightmare but a warning in disguise and sometimes those little warnings reveal who we are at the very core of our being.
So it turns out Finn is a kid with a skull hard enough to crack glass and a penchant for science class even when he feels for all the world as though he has just gone ten rounds with Mohammed Ali and I am a woman who never quite reacts how she should and occasionally could do with a short, sharp slap to bash me out of my hysteria.