In the category of where we actually spent this weekend, at least a couple of hours of it: how about the emergency room of our local hospital?
This is not a place one ever wants to be (though we were grateful it was there). You especially don't want to be there because your five year old needs to be.
The sweet girl is OK. She had an unfortunate run-in with a large, glassed in frame which was propped up on a shelf (for some unfathomable reason) in our church nursery. We were at church yesterday doing some work -- D. had a flyer to pull together for this morning's bulletin and I was photocopying the monthly newsletter I'd just finished pulling together at home. I was at the copier across the hall from the nursery when I heard the crash, the smash, the shatters and the high-pitched screams. Not what a mother ever wants to hear. I went running as fast as I could and then had just a few moments of sheer blind panic when I saw her surrounded by broken glass, holding up bleeding hands.
We never did quite figure out what happened. She didn't know the picture was framed in glass or that it was loose and would slip. She just wanted to see "the pretty giraffe" in the picture. As far as we can tell, it started to fall (perhaps hitting her on the head and starting to break) and then she tried to ward it off by grabbing/ clutching at it. Then the whole thing just smashed to the floor. End result: lots of minor cuts but three deeper cuts, one an especially deep laceration on her left hand, between pointer finger and thumb. We couldn't get the bleeding stopped for a long time, which is why we decided a trip to the local ER was in order. The sweet girl got to experience all sorts of firsts, including x-rays (they wanted to rule out that no glass silvers were still in her skin, and thank the Lord they weren't).
So...we got home around five o'clock with a tear-stained and blood-stained little girl. She'd had the equivalent of a few stitches (they used a kind of special glue on her skin, which will help it heal and will fall off in a few days). In addition to glued and band-aided fingers (which are now partially wrapped in gauze, which we've found is easier to keep on...and we need to keep those fingers clean and dry for a few days to give them a chance to heal properly) her lips were bright red from a popsicle a kind nurse gave to her as we were leaving. She wore a sticker that said "Hug me, I was brave." And frankly, both D. and I were exhausted, almost as tired as she was! There is something about the emotions of seeing your child get hurt that are really wearing. I am just very grateful to God that she is all right.
And today is the 17th anniversary of the day her daddy and I first said "I love you" to each other. We sort of celebrate that each year as a mini-anniversary. Some years it's felt very romantic. This year we're mostly just trying to catch our breaths. Autumn's always been my favorite season but falling in love during it blessed it with an even deeper benediction and grace. And I'll tell you something: I felt so blessed that he was the man sitting next to me in the emergency room yesterday, holding our little girl on his lap and encouraging her to play math games to get her focus off the pain of her hands. I love him more than I could have believed possible seventeen years ago.