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Monday, January 31, 2011

Tightening the rope

I try to let my boys be boys by not over-coddling them, encouraging them to play outside when it's warm, and by not tolerating whining.  Because we all know there is nothing worse than a whiny man and I am determined not to raise two. 

I have to admit though, I often find it difficult to let them run free without feeling the need to stand over them and follow them around, warning them to be careful and to force them to wear helmets 24-7, just in case they get the urge to do something stupid and reckless.

And as you might well know, boys often do get that urge.  It's like it's just in their DNA.  Sometimes they can't help themselves.  And some of them are worse than others. 

The Dracenator is one of those.

I believe I told y'all the story about him riding the rocking horse down the front steps when he was 3. He got lucky that time. He's busted his forehead open twice and broke his collar bone once.  Not to mention all the many countless scrapes, cuts, stings, bruises and bumps he's endured.  And he is only 7. 

I've had to toughen up to be a mom of boys, especially to be a mom of one like Dracen.  You see, it's in my nature to be an overprotective worrier.  It's like I can't help myself.  I worry, worry, worry....about everything.  But especially about my boys.  

I know though, that boys need to be allowed to be boys so I try very hard to give them just enough rope to do that.  And I pray. A Lot.

Most of the time, I am able to remain calm when one of them gets hurt and by one of them I pretty much mean Dracen since he is almost always the one getting hurt but something happened yesterday that shook me up hard. 

We had gone over to Momaw Pat's to eat after church and after eating the kids went outside to play since it was so unseasonably warm here yesterday.  After awhile we went outside too, to sit on the front porch. 

They were playing a game of redneck baseball don't ask! in the front yard.  Suddenly, Dracen stops playing the game and comes up on the porch with a pouty look on his face.  My childhood babysitter, Mrs. White, would have put it like this..."You've got that lip stuck out so far, you could ride to town on it!" 

He had that lip stuck way out there.  And it is not like the Dracenator to take himself out of the game. Not without darn good reason.  

So we begin the questioning.  He tells us nothing is wrong and all the others shrug their shoulders and insist they don't know what is wrong either.  I've been a mom long enough to know better.

I was suspicious.  Very suspicious.  And I wanted answers.

He finally spills it.  They have this old jeep over there that hasn't worked for years.  You know, those little battery operated toddler jeeps?  They were using it like a stunt vehicle.  I've seen them do it before.  Push each other down the drive and out into the grass.

Only this time they had concocted a ramp. And Dracen crashed. He then tells us that his cousin has a video of it on her phone.  

Y'all.  I can't even find the words to express to you how sick I felt when I saw that video.  My knees nearly collapsed under me and I got nauseous.

"Don't you ever do that again!  Do you HEAR ME?!  Never!" 

I was full of emotion.  I wanted to pick him up and never let him go because he was safe, I wanted to scream and yell at him for being so reckless, and I wanted to do the same to the others, for allowing him, the youngest one by far, to do something so incredibly dangerous and stupid and then to not tell us about it.  

He came flying down the hill on the jeep, out into the grass, over the ramp, flipped the jeep upside down and way up into the air, crashed down to the ground and rolled.  

I scream at him to get into the car to go to the ER.  I needed assurance that he was know that he didn't have a concussion or something worse. 

There's nothing like spending a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the ER waiting room watching people vomit and wander around all glassy eyed and barely able to walk because they are clearly coming down off of a 3 day drunk. 

Fun, fun, times.

We finally see the doctor who tells us that he will do a CT scan if we really want him to but judging by his behavior and the fact that he remembers everything and never lost consciousness, that he would not recommend it. 

Apparently, they recently did a study and determined that in children under the age of 12, 1 out of 1500 of them who have had a CT scan got brain cancer.  He was just sick about it himself, saying that he's been doing this for 15 years so he now wonders if he ever gave a child brain cancer by doing a CT scan that wasn't absolutely necessary. 

Wow!  I appreciated his honesty but that's some scary stuff.  And just FYI, he said it's 1 in 5000 over the age of 12. 

He advised us to just observe him, wake him up every four hours through the night to make sure he was not unconscious and bring him back if he started to vomit or act confused in any way. 

That fours hours was more like every one to two because that's about how often I woke up last night.  I overslept by a few minutes this morning and Dracen informs me immediately upon waking that he feels baaad. 

One minute his jaw is sore which I don't doubt and then his belly is upset, and then his neck. I let him stay home from school, though at this point I'm not sure if he feels that bad or he's just really enjoying the extra attention and sympathy.

I'm suspecting the latter.  Either way, he's getting a day off from school. And I may or may not be coddling him just a tad bit.  

Oh, and that old jeep?  Destroyed.  Devin and his cousin took it into the woods while we were at the ER, beat it to smithareens and put it in the trash. What better way to redeem themselves, right?  

And I'm sure they didn't enjoy hacking something to pieces at all. Not at all.

Boys will always be boys. 

And moms will always be worriers. 

And sometimes coddlers.  And rope tighteners. 




  1. Oh, my. Tell him the only reason he was spared serious injury is because of all your prayers for his protection.

    This morning, I told my boys on the way to it was pouring down rain, "do not play tackle football in the gym". I knew they wouldn't be playing outside. We have one child who suffered a traumatic brain injury. I have to admit. It's hard because he looks and seems just like any other kid his age, but he is not and won't ever be.

    Being a mom is not for the light of heart. Keep on praying!

  2. I tend to be a coddler. My Love hates it! Lol. He is nurturing as needed, but he doesn't let my kids get away with whining...unfortunately...I always fear something is terribly wrong and it isn't just's something WRONG.

    I'm glad he is okay and equally glad to see you being what most mommy's really are deep down...nurturing...loving...worrying women who sometimes let their kids get away with a little faking it so they get extra attention.

  3. gahhh. SO glad he is ok! And I would totally have kept him home from school and taken him to ER as well. Great call. Great parenting antennae, noticing that something was up. Good lord. And uhm, he rode a rocking horse down the stairs?? Oh, what am I in for??

  4. As a fellow mom of boys- and adventurous boys at that- I so relate.

  5. Mom of 2 boys here. Not only do we need to keep praying for our boys but we need to pray for each other, too. Goodness knows it isn't easy.

    Glad he was ok! I hadn't heard those statistics before and I won't forget them. Thanks for sharing the info.

  6. That is really scary, and I would have been monitoring him too. I swear boys are the most reckless, adventurous daredevils!

  7. Well, that boy is lucky. I would have lost it...on all of them. Isn't being a mom of boys glorious!

  8. Oh my! I'm a worrier too, and my little boy (at TWO) is already more of a risk taker than my girls ever were. So glad he wasn't seriously injured. And now I'm kind of worrying abt the fact that my daughter had to have a CT scan when she was 6 months old :( Thanks for that. (Kidding, but I'm seriously going to ask her pediatrician about it!)