We had plans for the best kind of Mother’s day: a bit of exploring and picnicking in the bush not too far from home. Instead, the gale force winds kept us indoors much of the day and put an end to any thought of any adventuring. In our heavily forested part of the world it is just too dangerous to be out in the bush on a day like today.
A few half-hearted attempts were made by the kids to start up some games close to the house but the wild wind made it hard for them to settle into anything for very long. Everyone seemed just that little bit irritable and unable to find their usual groove. Finally the wind dropped just enough in the afternoon for them to head just beyond the garden to play in a favourite cluster of boulders. I had just enough time to call my own mum for Mother’s Day when the two younger boys burst back inside. Even before they had time for an explanation I could tell there had been an incident where someone had been badly hurt.
Blood flowing down your own child’s head always looks worse than it usually is. Cassidy was walking towards me and crying by the time I got out to him so thankfully I knew he was ok. He had tripped while leaping over the top of boulders and crashed against the sharp edge of rock without time to get his hands out first.
The impressive amount of blood and the fact that their oldest brother had to go to hospital made a big impact on the younger children. While John and Cassidy spent the next four hours getting stitched up in emergency, the other three went straight to work making cards for their brother. They upended their treasure boxes to search for presents for him, and insisted on saving him the biggest share of corn chips, for when he returned.
A mild concussion and six stitches on my boy’s head were not part of how I imagined today. But just like so many other aspects of mothering, within the unexpected challenges lie the little gems: seeing the love and concern expressed by three little people for their older brother, and knowing his injury was nothing serious, was the best Mother’s Day gift I could hope for.