There is so much evidence that men differ than women that I don’t know if the subject actually needs more illustration. That topical Horse status: beaten.
However, this weekend my Hubby and two boys went on a camp-out to Sequoia Lake about 4 hours from our home. It was sponsored by the YMCA Adventure Guides and a total of 65 dads and sons road-tripped to spend quality time with that other beautiful woman, Mother Nature. There was an incident that reminded me that dads are wired differently than moms.
Lucas, our twelve year old, was playing with four other boys on Friday. At dusk, Lucas and another boy were taking turns stabbing my husband’s pocket knife into a tree.
Let’s stop right there. Why is my son playing with a knife? Pocket knives are for survival or for filing a finger nail; not juvenile entertainment.
Where is the parental supervision? Absent. The dads circled 20 feet away laughing and carrying on about only God knows what.
On the fourth time Lucas shoved the knife into the tree the pocket knife collapsed and sliced the tip of his index finger. I don’t mean a paper cut, but a down-to-the-bone laceration. Long story short, he ran to my husband holding his hand up and applying pressure. I am pleased he knew how to respond…he really does listen! When he approached his Dad, it was obvious he needed to visit the Emergency Room an hour away. Ralph grabbed our other son Daniel, who was catching frogs and dripping with wet mud from the knees down, and the three of them, drove the hour into Fresno.
About 9:30PM, Friday night, I received “the call”.
Side note: In the past “the call” disclosed pertinent negative information that needed to be known. One call I received was in 2005, when Lucas chipped his permanent front tooth on the playground with the metal limbo pole. In December 2007, it was that our house had caught on fire while on vacation. In spring of 2009, “the call” informed me that Ralph was in the E.R. after a skiing accident. I hate “the call.” The main ingredient is always bad news.
The call informed me that they were in the Emergency Room and Lucas needed stitches. I was shaken up; anxious. Whenever I hear the word “hospital”, I have 1997 flashbacks of Lucas coming out of open heart surgery and staying for six months in the ICU due to complications. I have tried to recalibrate my Mometer (a complex internal device that houses maternal intuition), but I continue to have these Post Traumatic Stress Episodes when the smallest glitch occurs. Like when your son slices off his index finger….it tends to push my maternal freak-out button.
I talked to all three of my guys many times throughout the next few hours. Daniel could only talk about the frogs he had caught, particularly the frog missing an eye. I would not believe it had they not photographed the disabled little toad. Lucas was understandably frightened. At different stages of the emergency room visit I was hearing the details real time. It was like I was there.
The last time I spoke with my husband, it was almost midnight and they were leaving the hospital and going to find a hotel in Fresno (the Northern California Methamphetamine Capital). I agreed it was an excellent idea to recharge, shower and suck up a decent night’s sleep before returning to their camp adventure.
At 9:30 AM the next morning, I received “the call” from Darryl, Ralph’s buddy at camp. The guys at camp were concerned that he had not returned and he was not answering his cell phone. Hmmmm. I shared with Darryll what I knew and called Ralph the minute we hung up. Ring. Ring. Voicemail. I called again an hour later, leaving another message.
“Hey Hon, I am really concerned that I have not heard from you. It is ten AM and I am starting to worry. Darryll called from Lake Sequoia and is looking for you. Where are you? I just want to hear that you found a hotel and are all right. Pease call me! I am worrying and just need confirmation alls good. If I don’t hear from you in a couple hours, I will officially worry. Call me, love you.”
Hour one. Hour two. Three long hours later, I officially started planning my life as a widow. Ralph had not called and I just knew he was in an accident, hit head on by a drunk Fresno driver while searching for a place to stay.
Pray. Pray. Beg. Pray. I volleyed back and forth over the possibilities, and then was mad at myself for thinking such horrible thoughts. Bad things happen to good people, I know that first hand. Anything is possible. I prayed more. My girlfriend Ayndrea came over to help keep perspective. I was letting my pretty little head go in all different dark, gloomy directions.
Wanting to hear they were all alive, I called several different camp phone numbers. No luck. I left messages on other dad’s cell phones. No reception. Frustrated, I finally tracked down a lady got in touch with the walkie-talkie guy at Lake Sequoia. I explained I needed to confirm my husband and sons had returned to camp and gave them the back story on the E.R.
“Which injury did your son have?”
There was more than one? I later discovered another boy needed stitches when a tree branch ripped inside his mouth and lip.
“He cut his finger with a pocket knife,” I explained to the lady on the phone, who explained to Bob on the walkie talkie. Bob confirmed that my family had returned to camp earlier that day.
I was upset that Ralph had not thought to check in with me. When my husband and sons returned late Sunday night I saw the damaged finger all sewn back together like a rag doll. Ralph explained that they stayed in the Comfort Inn and hit the hay at one AM. The boys awoke early, begging to get back to all that fun at camp. So they jumped in the car and climbed back into the mountains away from cell phone reception. Just like that. No worries. Wife who?
I was not a widow after all. What did the new grey hairs teach me? I MUST remember that my husband does not possess a Mometer and therefore, will not make “the call” unless something is REALLY wrong. In the future, I will try to chillax and let the problems find me.