Before I get too far, let me fill you in. My mother’s first grandchild was my niece, who is now sixteen years old. When she was learning to talk, she heard my stepfather calling my mom “honey” and she thought that was what she was supposed to call her. Except, she couldn’t quit say it, and it came out as “Oney” or “Onee” (we still haven’t completely decided on how to spell it.)
Last week, Onee took my son to her house for the day so I could get some formatting done. (Yes, I’m now in formatting mode of Book Four. Yay!) Well, the train goes right by her house, and they could hear it coming. My son loves to watch the train, so they were hurrying outside to go see it. Coming down the back porch steps, my mother missed a step and fell, breaking her ankle in three places! My stepfather was upstairs, so the only one there to help her was my almost three-year-old son. Having been a nurse for over thirty years, she was able to remain calm so as not to scare him, and asked him to go inside and tell Papa to come down. But my son couldn’t get the old porch door open.
“I can’t do it,” he called to her.
“Yes, you can,” she tried to encourage him, “Just keep trying.”
Finally, he got the door open. Then, he ran down off the porch over to her. “I did it, Onee! I did it all by myself!”
“That’s great!” she forced out a smile, “Now, go get Papa for me.”
So, my son ran into the house and to the bottom of the staircase, the one he had been told never to go up by himself. Like a good little boy, he stood at the bottom of the stairs and yelled up to his grandfather. But my son was so cool and collected, my stepfather just thought he was trying to get him to come down to watch the train with them.
Frustrated, my son finally yelled, “Onee fell down and she needs your help!”
At long last, my stepfather found my poor mother on the ground in front of the porch steps with her foot twisted in a rather unnatural way. He was all ready to scoop her up and put her in the truck to drive her to the hospital. But my mother’s medical expertise made her realize that he could cause more harm than good by doing so, and convinced him to call 911 instead.
When the ambulance arrived, my son simply sat on the porch steps and watched them work. They stabilized my mother’s twisted, swollen ankle and put her in the back of the ambulance, all while my stepfather tried to explain to my son what was happening. It wasn’t a few days before that my husband had taken the little one to a children’s fair in a nearby town, where they had a “Touch A Truck” event – where kids can check out various service vehicles, one being an ambulance. His father had already explained that an ambulance is “the truck that takes people who have booboos to the doctor.”
After we got our son home, we were all eating dinner when I asked him about what had happened.
“Onee got a booboo on her leg,” he told me, “She went to the doctor for a bandage.”
We praised him for doing such a good job and helping his Onee. It also made me wonder: what if my stepfather had been there to witness the whole thing? What if I had been there? And I came to the conclusion that any grownup would’ve panicked. My son being so young had kept him calm, as he wasn’t entirely sure what was happening. He just knew that he needed to do what his Onee asked of him. We’re so proud of him, whether he has any idea what he did or not.
My mother is still in the hospital, but is scheduled to come home tomorrow. They had to do surgery, and she now has a handful of screws and plates in her ankle. On top of that, she sprained the other one, so she’s rather immobile. My mother-in-law is letting her borrow a walker she’s had in her attic, and also found a wheelchair at a yard sale for her to use. That just left my mother’s house, which is well over 200 years old. There was only one way to get her in and out, and that meant she would need a ramp built. Luckily, my husband has a degree in carpentry. So, he and my older brother put one together, and I went over to help them paint it. Then, we moved my mother’s bed and nightstand down into the living room, making sure all her knitting projects were handy. It’s going to be a long six weeks, but we’re all coming together to help out.
There is one thing we know for sure, and my mother won’t stop telling me… we’ve got a little hero on our hands.
Happy Monday! 😉