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We can plan our life out all we want, but rarely does it ever turn out exactly as we planned, and sometimes it doesn’t even get close to the original plan. So what do you do? It’s all in the attitude, as I learned yesterday, but also the mental preparation.
Yesterday morning my sweet friend came and picked up Lincoln to give me a few hours to do something, anything I wanted. It had been a really rough emotional month for me helping a friend through some tough circumstances, and I needed that break. So after she took Lincoln I decided I’d go on a bike ride. If you know me at all, well I’d never believe I would choose a bike ride willing. There I was, though, breathing in the air rushing past me.
As I neared back home, I began to imagine the rest of the day. I’d grab a shower before Lincoln came back. Then he and I would play together. The girls would get off the bus. We’d all be happy, eat some homemade cookies, and do some house cleaning with good attitudes.
I began to laugh at myself and this perfect afternoon I was concocting. I KNEW there was no way it would go like that. The kids never clean happily, and I still had work to do. So I took a few more deep breaths and then told myself something that would prove to be very important later in the day.
“Adelina,” I said, “You know the day is not going to go like you imagine. There will most likely be fights, and the kids will be tired from a long day of school. They won’t want to help you clean, and may even put up a fight. But Adelina, it’s going to be OK. You just keep your chin up, and roll with the punches today, because you got to breathe. So smile, and don’t be disappointed if the day isn’t perfect. It will depend on your attitude.”
And so I got home, and I kept my chin up. My friend brought Lincoln back, and we decided to plant our tomatoes. And that is when the perfectly imagined day turned upside down. While I hung up the plant, Lincoln was so excited the windchime had been temporarily moved within his reach, he started ringing it like crazy. Unfortunately, it was not secure and came straight down on his head.
Blood. Everywhere. It’s all I could see. I grabbed my little boy and ran inside to the kitchen. Paper Towels were the quickest, and I thought I’id just start cleaning him off to see the cut when I knew. Mothers instinct some call it, but I just knew I couldn’t calmly clean off the blood. It was pouring out and needed pressure applied. So I sat there, holding wet paper towels on his head with one hand and fumbling with my phone in the other.
Who do I call?! What do I do?! I started calling a couple different friends, hung up and asked myself what in the world I was doing. How did I think they could help? So I did what we’re taught to do from a young age in an emergency – I dialed 911.
The operator was very patient and had an ambulance headed out to us as soon as I called. He instructed me to keep the pressure on it, and add clean towels as they soaked through. And most importantly, he stayed calm and patient with this frantic feeling mom who didn’t know how to answer most of his questions – Just where exactly is the line between A LOT of Blood, and Excessive Bleeding?
The EMT’s came in, a 2-second examination determined he would need stitches, and next thing I know I’m laying on a gurney holding Lincoln, and being strapped in. I’ll spare you all the details, but have you ever thought about how one gets home from the hospital after arriving in an ambulance? Or who’s going to be waiting for the other kids at the bus stop?
My afternoon most assuredly did not go as I perfectly imagined.
We didn’t clean. We had PB&J and baby carrots for dinner. The new tomato plant never got watered. And there were definitely some tears involved in the day. What is important is that we made it through the day with everyone alive. We even managed a few laughs throughout the rest of the afternoon. I was home to kiss my kids all goodnight and tuck all 4 into their own beds.
So plan your life. Plan your days. Then let whatever happens, happen, and just roll with the punches – or the gurney.