Seven Minutes

Note to readers: I’m going to change my posting schedule from Saturdays/Sundays to Mondays. It seems that I don’t always have a topic by the weekend but I do on Mondays, so it works out better for all of us. Please look for new posts on Mondays going forward. 


BoyIt was the worst seven minutes of my life.

My husband threw up his hands and called out, “WHERE’S (OUR SON)?” I looked around, expecting to see my three-year-old in a ten-foot radius. He wasn’t there. I widened my search to twenty feet. He wasn’t there.

Our closest friend said, “I’ll watch your daughter. Go!”

Eyes wide, trying to suppress panic, I stepped out from under the festival tent and headed toward the main drag. I scanned the path, the tents, the alleys between them. My son wasn’t there. I got to the end of the path, turned around, scanned again, saw some of our friends looking too, but I didn’t see my son. At the end of the path, one of our friends pulled me aside and had me talk to a festival volunteer.

“What’s his name?”

I told him.

What’s he wearing?

“Uhh, I don’t know. Oh God, I don’t know. Khaki shorts!”

“What color shirt?”

I’d never wanted to remember something so desperately. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know!” read more

Sick Days

imagebot (6)Last week we went to New York to take care of some of my dad’s business. Everything was fine until we left my birth mom’s house in Queens. On the way out, my son was a little cranky, then he completely wilted. We absolutely had to go upstate, so I scooped him up and strapped him in the car. He slept through the whole two-hour ride and when he woke, his eyes were hooded and he said he was gonna throw up. I worried that he had the flu. So we skipped picking up Italian combos for lunch and headed to my BFF’s house.

When we got there, my BFF offered to take our daughter to pick up food while we brought my son to urgent care. So that’s what we did. There was a total of two cars in the urgent care parking lot, so we figured we’d get express service. After a half-hour wait, they called us in, did an exam and a flu test. My son didn’t have the flu, but he did have strep throat. We picked up some meds and brought him back to my BFF’s house, where he fell asleep on the couch. read more

The Finger

imagebot (6)I picked up the phone. My husband was on a conference call and had already missed his call waiting twice. “This is Sherry from preschool. Your son hurt his finger and the nail has ripped off. He’s been a trooper so far but can you come?”

“We’ll be right there.” We were already in the driveway, on our way to pick the other car from the mechanic’s. We headed straight for preschool as I cursed the 15 minutes it takes to get there. We finally arrived, jumped out of the car and they took us to him. He held up his thumb and started to cry as I picked him up. A Band-Aid hung loosely around his thumbnail. His thumbnail hung loosely at the top of his finger and his hand was covered with blood. The preschool director explained to my husband that the kids were cleaning up and a little girl dropped a block on his finger. He’d asked them for the Band-Aid. She gave us a wet washcloth to wrap around his finger to absorb the blood. read more

A very close call

imagebot (6)My son slumped over in his chair at the dinner table. “Is he okay? Is he okay?” my husband asked, alarmed.

“He’s just looking around,” I said. He was. Like a turtle, pivoting on his neck, with a sleepy look on his face.

“He’s choking!” my husband said, and sprang into action. He thumped my son’s back. So did I, and my son’s head slumped. I stuck my finger into his mouth and felt teeth.

“OPEN YOUR MOUTH! OPEN YOUR MOUTH!” I said.. Oh my God, this could be it. We could lose him right now! I always thought if someone was choking, their mouth would automatically open but his didn’t. Thankfully, he did open his mouth when I said so and, as I worried my nail was too long and would scratch him,  my finger reached for the back of his throat. I swept it, got some small pieces of sausage, and my son began to perk up and breathe. Breathe. It was the most beautiful breath I’d ever seen him take. read more

There’s nothing like a power struggle in the morning

Bad dayThis is how it all started. My daughter wanted to take a toy into camp. Camp has a no-toys rule, but the last time I told her she couldn’t bring her toy, she clung to me and wouldn‘t go in until I let her. Then, when I picked her up in the afternoon, she left the toy on the floor at camp when we left.

So today she wanted to bring her My Little Pony “Princess Celestia” in. I let her get to the door and asked the camp counselor to explain the “no toys” rule. The counselor gently said that toys get lost or hurt at camp. Did she want her toy lost or hurt?

“No,” she said and handed the Princess to me. The counselor said, “I think that’s a good choice you made.” I bent down and kissed my daughter goodbye. Everything seemed normal and then she clamped her arms around my leg and wouldn’t let go. read more