I didn’t write last night and I will admit I was not torn by emotion to do so as I have been in the last few months. The lack of draw to writing last night was multi-factorial. The first factor was that I did not feel like people would be automatically worried some unwanted illness had befallen me. The second was I was tired. The third was my mind was preoccupied by on going events.
My third reason may seem a bit odd to those of you have been following for some time. For me, having been able to write despite the impending doom which seemed to hang over me most of this last year with AML, there must have been some hefty thoughts to weigh me down enough to not be concerned about writing. Which unfortunately there were. Despite the fact that I am eyes wide open to the fact that life can and will throw curve balls which we will constantly be learning from I was amazed and stunned last night. A week after watching my son almost get killed (thank you helmet) the Dudley family found ourselves on the other end of the proverbial sword.
We had gone to a fundraiser for a local school board candidate at the Mack household just around the corner. The night seemed to be going along just fine. I found myself in a stimulating conversation about the medical field in Anchorage between an ER physician and a psychiatrist. Although this seems as though it could be the start of a joke the ending was cut short when Ben (the ER doc) was called away because of a bleeding head wound which was not my sons head. Evidently, a child had been hit with an ice ball thrown by another kiddo. After a few minutes Amanda Mack came and asked me a parenting/social question; should she approach the parent of the child she thought may have been the tosser of the ice. After quickly asking if it was my youngest son, to which she replied no, I mentioned that I would have much appreciated a call from the parents of the girl who almost severed Liam’s head off (which we have not received). As we were at her house and she felt somewhat responsible she took it upon herself to intervene. She bravely walked off to confront an unsuspecting parent of the possible ice tosser.
About two minutes later I hear Liam crying uncontrollably in the back yard. This raised my blood pressure a bit and I hurried back to see what was wrong. Brooke had Liam in a little corner and was confronting him about something clearly disturbing. Liam had in fact been the one who threw the ice. I was immediately floored, taken aback, embarrassed, angry, saddened and disappointed at once. Liam was frantic. He was clearly scared and his response was quite similar to a week ago when he was hit. Clearly his defense mechanism is to try to flight rather than fight when something goes wrong. This being said is my only positive of the night in that he did not throw the ice chunk in some form of retaliation. The fact that Brooke and I suddenly found ourselves with a child who had hurt another child was such a blow.
Clearly worrying about my own health has been the thought at the front of my mind most the year, to watch Liam get hit and then replay that image has been the forefront this last week. The last 24 hours I can’t help but feel bad for another set of parents and continue to wonder what the hell was Liam thinking. The good news is that Alden (the boy who was hit) is as far as I know okay. He did leave the party headed to the ER to get a small laceration glued together. I did try calling his mother today to check on him but did not get an answer. We did calm Liam enough to apologize to the accused parents and child as well as Alden. I feel he, and probably myself, could have done a better job at apologizing. I am still horrified though with Liam’s decision making process and despite all efforts to have him explain why he did it he can not.
I know that I have made some very poor choices in my youth and even my adulthood. None that I know of resulted directly in someone being sent to an ER (although Jim and Gayle probably have different stories). Most of my poor choices resulted in my own injury or the obviously realization that I could have hurt someone. In that respect I guess I could be considered fortunate because I feel horrible that my son hurt someone else. As he is my son and not a cartoon character I could not strangle him as Homer Simpson does to Bart but the thought crossed my mind last night. More than anything I wish and hope that Brooke and I have conveyed to him our disappointment in his decision making process, our loss of trust in him to act accordingly and to convince him that he should feel horrible about what he did and bad for Alden. For a 6 year old to get that all is hard but we aren’t done teaching him this lesson yet.
Liam spent the majority of today doing specific tasks Brooke and I laid out for him. We have not been overly harsh. He wrote an apology note last night which was rewritten today. He lost a few very precious toys and won’t be doing some of his preferred activities after school for a few weeks. Most importantly he had more than a few stern talking’s too today about his decision making on even little things. I do hope this can be a learning opportunity for him. It sure is eye opening for Brooke and I (I couldn’t even close my eyes last night thinking about the incident). Again, life has taught me another lesson which I hope may even bring me full circle. I used to lay away at night thinking about other people (my patients), then I was rudely forced to think about myself which morphed back into a worrying about my kid and now I am worrying about other people and their kids. Maybe getting the focus off me will be good for a while.
Think about others.
Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.