Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's a Regular Thing

My daughter awakens, having to go pee.

When I tease her about this, I received the response, "it's a regular thing." My misinterpreted laugh provoked the further explanation that, "I have to do this at home, too."

I tell that story to tell this one.

Sarah and I were taking a stroll around the group camp site. Saying, "hi" to those we passed and dodging little kids on scooters and bicycles who were making up for their lack of control with speed. Along the way we pass a little boy and his father. The boy is sitting on a camp chair, blood streaming down the side of his face - father kneeling in front of him, trying to assess the situation.

We continued on.

We pressed forward on our stroll as if we'd seen nothing, but not with callous disregard. No. I was now headed to the trunk of my car, in which I kept a small first aid kit. Pink, either by design or age, containing little items that might help. We were also giving father and son time. Time to assess, resolve or generate fears - just a minute of space for father and son.

"Do you need help? I...I have a first aid kit. I don't know what's in it, but we can look."

While the father looked through the kit of random and mostly useless items, I examined the boy's wound. Not deep, but an inch-long gash on the top of his right eye socket. The perfect location of sweat to sting the cut. Also a place that is difficult to close. The mop-headed son was a scrappy fellow, but reduced to whimpering at this point. It hurt, and he was frightened.

Dad was doing his best, but he had no experience to fall back on. "I don't know what to do."

I did. Three cheers and a tiger for me, I had experience with this. My wisdom made me feel ten feet tall.

"My son's been through this a half-dozen times. No big deal. You just need to get him to an Urgicare and have them glue his head back together. It won't take long at all."

Pulling the dad out of earshot, I let him know under my breath, "I'll get you directions to the nearest hospital with an emergency room. He may need a couple stitches, but he will be fine." You never say the word "stitches" to a little boy that needs them.

While he tended to his son and gathered his daughter, I found a couple scraps of paper in my car, a pen, and using my smartphone was able to get directions to Mansfield Hospital. I also gave him their phone number in case he got lost.

Off and on again, I thought of the boy that night. The next morning I saw the father. He was really thankful, but in truth I was thankful for the opportunity to help - if even in a small way. His son rode by, fast as can be without even a glance. No, don't call him back - I'm just happy to see that he's okay.

The Medina Guides - we're all dads. We look out for each other and our children. It's a regular thing.

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