It happens just that fast. One minute, you're saying, "Go outside and play with this crazy dog," and then you're greeting your husband as he arrives home from work. You're pushing a child on the swings. Then, you're inside, stress and achiness and exhausation driving you to hurry up and change so you can get to yoga class.
That's when you hear the bloodcurdling screams.
After the first day of school, just last week, my eldest daughter flipped off the swings in our backyard and broke both her arms.
I knew they were broken. They weren't misshapen, but I could tell from the clammy feel of her skin, her shaking and her inability to even process what just happened--beyond it hurts--that she'd fractured something in one or both arms.
I got her to stand up and I took her to the car. We drove to the emergency room.
And then we sat there for over two hours, my child in terrible pain. Still sweating, still shaking.
She was nearly unreachable in her pain, zoned out, just trying to get through it.
Same with me.
I could pat her hair, smooth it away from her forehead, but I knew that wasn't helping.
My daughter's breathing was ragged. Her gaze was glassy.
We waited. I complained. I whipped out my cell phone.
Finally, not knowing what else to do in my frustration, I reached for reading material.
The only choices in this ER were--and I do not lie--"Wild Bird" magazine and "Reform Judaism."
What the...? Who ordered these subscriptions? Seriously. Was this some sort of joke?
It was so ridiculous, I wrote it down in my ever-present notebook. And I sort of laughed.
I showed the magazines to my daughter. She smiled, just slightly, through her pain.
I wouldn't be distracted with a scintillating read. Not tonight.
But I was reminded: everything crazy or bad that happens later becomes somewhat humorous. At least sometimes.
And it's all material, right?