So, yesterday afternoon was cruising along like any other when I received a phone call from the boys' dad. Seeing as how we usually communicate very nicely via text, when I saw his name on my cell caller ID, I knew something was up.
Ex: Hi,... yeah, I just got a call from school. I guess Charlie and another boy had a run-in on the playground while playing football -----
I'm going to stop here for a minute for some backstory. Every day, rain or shine, come hell or high water, Jack and Charlie and their friends play football at recess. They have as much enthusiasm for the schoolyard version of the game as they had when they were on their PAL team this past fall... which means they tend to get into heated discussions over bad plays. I immediately took "run-in" as code for "Charlie got into a fight with another boy and is currently sitting in the principal's office." This explains why the next image that popped into my head was of young Charlie perched on his bed all weekend, in a grounding for fighting at school. Let's resume the conversation, shall we?
Ex: (continues)... and the nurse says he's got a pretty good goose-egg above his eye. She doesn't think he's got a concussion, but figured it might be a good idea for him to be picked up now, rather than wait for the end of the school day.
Let's pause again for a moment, mm'kay? Knowing full well that the boys also have a tendency to tackle during these games -- without the luxury of helmets and pads -- "Punishment Mom" was replaced by "Worried Mom." Quickly.
Me: I'm on my way.
I now know that Bobby and I are fully capable of being out the door and driving toward school within four minutes. Good to know.
When we reached school, I was led to Charlie lying on a cot in the clinic, holding an ice pack to the left side of his face. I had him take it off, an saw this:
I think I audibly gasped... probably saying something along the lines of, "Ohmygosh,Charlie!" I asked him if he'd seen it for himself, and he said no, so I snapped the picture and showed him. (You didn't really think I was just randomly taking photos of his injury for kicks, did you? I assure you, it was out of necessity, not having a mirror handy.)
Apparently, he collided face-to-face with his friend Jonathan, just after he'd caught the football. KA-POW. The recess aides assured the nurse that there was definitely no rough play involved-- just a matter of the boys being in the same place at the most unfortunate time. Jonathan's injury was similar, but I was told his entire eye had swollen shut, and he was at the ER getting things checked out. So, Charlie got out of school an hour early and I bought him a Sprite at the McDonald's drive-thru to comfort him. (By the way, when the HELL did they stop making McDonaldLand Cookies?! I was going for a true Mom of the Year moment, wanting to make the injury "all better" with a box of cookies. Now, all they sell is chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. There is a permanent ban on chocolate in the car, and he doesn't care for oatmeal raisin. Plan thwarted... thanks A LOT, Ronald McDonald.)
Last night before bed, Charlie was a bit apprehensive about going to school today. He was afraid the other kids would make fun of how his eye looked. I assured him no one would do that... but then I thought, how do I know this for sure? I decided I would offer Charlie an escort to his classroom and survey the reaction. He can either accept or decline -- I will be fine with either choice. My guess is that he will be the center of attention for a while, which he won't mind for about, say, ... 10 minutes. After that, he (like his mom) will start to cringe and want to be left alone.
He may feel fine, have no concussion and not even so much as a headache. But I still have my "Worried Mom" cap on, which will quickly turn into "Protective Mom" should any wiseapple fourth grader try to make fun of MY Charlie and his puffy eye.