It was Labor Day weekend. We needed to get a handle on the mess in the garage. I asked my oldest to watch my youngest while we parents worked outside. She was nine, in 4th grade already for a week, and the baby was almost two and a half.
Then a series of unfortunate events occurred. Daughter # 1 came out to the garage with daughter #2 on her hip, just like her mom. She asked if everyone could have a Popsicle. I said yes.
Then she turned and let the springs on the door to the house close it most of the way. She stuck out her bare foot to catch it before it slammed, just like her mom. But I always had shoes on since my flat feet need orthotics to keep me stable. The sharp edge of the doggie door got in the way.
Her dad and I went back to discussing where to store the toys, bikes, and paint piling up in the garage. We’d already had one fluke of a rainstorm, and it was only September.
“Mom! My foot is bleeding!”
Daughter # 1 was back at the garage door, blood gushing from her heel. I ran inside and grabbed a washcloth from the linen closet, dashed into our powder bath, and got the washcloth wet.
“You’re getting blood on the carpet!” Dad yelled.
I rolled my eyes at my daughter. Why worry about the carpet when someone was hurt?
“Sit down here,” I instructed my oldest, pointing to the toilet. I wiped the blood off of her heel and saw the long gash.
“Get the kids in the car,” I said to her dad.
“It’s not that bad,” he said.
“We’re going to the hospital,” I said.
“You’re overreacting,” he said.
“She. Needs. Stitches,” I said in a tone that told him not to mess with me.
He got our son in the car, strapped in the baby, and put our oldest in the middle with her foot up on the console. He drove, and I kept pressure on our daughter’s bleeding heel as he drove.
Eight stitches and three hours later, we left the emergency room and swung through a fast food place for lunch.
The garage did not get cleaned, Resolve took the blood out of the carpet, and daughter #1 had to wear thick socks on her left foot to 4th grade until her stitches came out.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
Twenty-two years later, daughter #1 told me some new information. She hadn’t realized that her foot was bleeding until her little sister saw the blood and started to cry.