"Are you up?"
"How'd you sleep?"
"How'd you sleep?"
"It's Mother's Day."
"OH MY GOD!"
I woke slowly to this conversation in the bed next to me. Soft footsteps across the room. Small body in bed with me. Wanting to waking me, but not trying to wake me. When I did turn ever so slightly, because I wasn't ready to be awake...
"Are you up?"
"Happy Mother's Day! Do you want your present?"
"Do you want them all now or spread them out?"
Homemade crafts and handwritten notes.
I love you because you feed me. I love you because you help me get dressed. I love you because you let me have computer time.
She NEVER lets me help her get dressed. I am a computer time dictator.
Scrapbook of photos and cryptic messages.
Alaska wildflowers. Meh.
RUN. Up in the mountains somewhere.
I found a huge trout that was half dead. I LOVE KENAI!
GOOD coffee in a hotel room bed. Animal Planet in the background. Me and the girls in Homer. Happy Mother's Day to me.
It wasn't until the second read through that it hit me. The message in the pre-teen's scrapbook gift.
YOU ARE EPIC.
I wanna thank you for being there for me. I look up to you and you inspire me. And I love you so much. We all love you.
This is why we do what we do. We don't do all the things mother's do because we want positive feedback, I mean it's always nice, but we do all the things that mother's do because we are mothers.
My daughter thinks I am epic. I inspire her. She looks up to me. I've been rolling around in that ALL DAY. And damn it feels good.
We wound down our magnificent weekend in beautiful, beachy Homer with one last walk on Bishop Beach.
Still rolling around in my epic motherliness, scanning the rocks, on the shore, in the sun, with the breeze at my back, a SCREAMING, INCONSOLABLE child suddenly at my feet.
"I got BIT BY A DOG."
Hyperventilating Sadie. Me looking for spurting blood, torn flesh.
She breathes and tells me that a dog came running at her, grabbed her leg and started shaking it. She kicked it and it let go. It grabbed her other leg. She ran away.
"The lady was screaming at the dog. She was getting the dog in trouble. What if she puts down the dog?"
The other lady asked her if she was ok.
"I held back my cries. She kept asking me. Like 5 times. I told her yes."
She was NOT OK. She was terrified. She was shaking and not breathing and whimpering and crying loudly.
It was then I realized I hadn't even seen the wound.
When she showed me her leg, the apricot-sized, black and blue welt contained three small red bite marks- no punctures.
When she showed me the other leg, my mind went blank. I saw the black and blue lump with the bloody skin tear, but I froze. Not very inspirational or epic.
OH MY GOD.
IT'S MOTHER'S DAY AND MY KID GOT BIT BY A DOG. TWICE.
And I didn't even see it.
She had settled down, but she was hurting. I cannot tell you if it was from physical or mental pain. With Maren and Judy by her side, I knew I needed to find the dog and the owner.
I walked directly to that owner and with firm voice I asked, "What happened?"
Tears rolling down her face, she explained that the tiny dog got away from her. She keeps the yippy mutt on leash because it can be aggressive. I described the broken skin, the swollen blue welts and the terrified kid.
You can't let this happen again. I demanded kindly.
Back at the van, Sadie coping, then screaming, I posited the options...hospital? Animal control?
I googled " what to do if your kid gets bit by a dog." I did. I could not think clearly.
I identified the LOR (level of responsiveness of patient) and began the PAS (Patient Assessment System) -Thank you Wilderness First Aid training- but making a decision about what to do for my own kid...
So I called another Mom. A Mom whose kid got bit by a dog and oh yeah, she's a nurse too.
She walked me through the options and I made a decision. No stitches needed. No hospital.
After I washed the wound, I slathered it with antibiotic cream, bandaged it up and triple wrapped it with gauze as per Sadie's request. I cradled her in the front seat of the van for a long time. She asked a lot of questions. Not about herself, but about the owner and the dog, and why it came after her and if the owner would retrain the dog instead of put it down.
I reassured her that she was brave and kind to think of the dog. I told her that she was SO MUCH TOUGHER than I was as a kid.
"I was born to the new you Mom.
When you were a kid, you were the old you.
You were afraid of climbing and you didn't run hundreds of miles.
I was born to the new you and that is why I am tough."
At the playground, Sadie ran off on her own towards the park. I wanted to call to her, tell her to wait for me, be careful.
A chocolate lab approached her, sniffed her. She patted it on the head and from a distance, smiled and gave me a thumbs up.
I love you two because you make me a mother.
I love you two because you surprise me and keep it interesting.
I love you two because just by being with you I am learning to be epic and inspiring.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.