Sometimes life just knocks the wind right out of you.
And leaves a deep scar.
It’s Father’s Day, and we are at the park that the Farmer grew up in. He swung on those metal horse swings and they seemed old back then, and yet, they still swing to and fro – little ones laughing on their backs. We smile with the children, but in moments my smile drops as Little Gabriel walks behind his cousin’s swing, and is knocked off his feet. I figured the wind got knocked out of him, and it did, but the drip of deep-red that fell from his forehead meant we would be driving to the hospital for stitches.
A quick call to the Farmer who grabs and cradles him applying pressure. Family members move quickly – one to get ice, and other tosses his keys at us, and someone else tells us not to worry about our other little ones merrily playing, oblivious to this sudden change of events.
We jump in the Farmer’s brother’s truck, the babe cradled in his dad’s lap. I decide to drive so I can remain calm. I didn’t want to see the blood. I never had trouble with any of that before I had kids, but now….when it’s my child who bleeds…my body just can’t handle that. I remember it was only 3 years ago that his older brother had stitches after hitting his head on the coffee table at Grandma’s on New Years Eve. I make a mental note to stay home on holidays.
The Farmer tries to soothe the situation with things like, “we have three boys – this isn’t the first head wound and it probably won’t be the last.” Nice one. That really helps. I tell myself that boys like scars – they wear them like badges of honor, and this one – well, it would be right out there for the world to see. I remember to thank God that it wasn’t his eye, and that he made blood to clot, and that my baby would heal.
Fifteen minutes of country roads gets us to the Doc. I hold my baby on my chest in the chair, and he gets four fresh stitches. He sits still. Very still. I am thankful he is so tired, and for the numbing shot Doc gave him before the stitches. Since Doc is a close family friend, I toss out a few jokes about making it a clean-cut scar since his daughter might someday be married to this scar-ridden boy. We all laugh. It feels good to laugh, to lighten the mood.
My baby boy cuddles close in my lap on the ride back to the park, his head laying on my chest, and I am reminded that when we are struck down, when pain cuts deep and souls bleed red, that we too have a Father. He cradles us close, mends our wounds, and heals our hurts. And when the healing subsides, and time passes, may we look at those scars as battle wounds – badges of honor in service of our King.