Peter had ambushed his older brother in the head with Nerf bullets, which made for a forceful retaliation that included $8 in hush money to avert a forthcoming punishment. The attempt to quiet him had failed because I heard Peter crying and calling for me from his room. I checked on him and assumed that he was just bruised and battered from lessons he hadn’t learned. The lessons of being a sibling like: A.) To engage in a Nerf war, both parties have to agree to play, and B.) Pick on someone your own size. I have even warned my oldest son that one day the horseplay would go too far because he's a "big-ass" twelve year old at 5’11 and 185 pounds. (Those are Peter's words. You're judging, I know.)
Everyone loaded into the car and hurried off to the football game. Peter complained that he couldn’t buckle his seat belt and I figured it must be that lingering pain that would eventually fade. Only as the game wore on, Peter's pain intensified. Normally he’d play with the other kids, but I noticed that he favored his left arm and held onto his wrist to support it. By the fourth quarter, his tough exterior finally gave way to the unbearable pain and he was lying on the bleachers as I stroked his hair to comfort him. I knew his injury was more than just bruising. So we dropped the rest of the family at home and drove to the hospital, listening to Miley Cyrus’s song Wrecking Ball, to which he told me was “inappropriate.” First things first, I'd have to deal with his injury leaving his exposure to Miley Cyrus a secondary concern.
So, not only did I jinx myself about having precluded any E.R. visits lately, I'd like to retract my earlier post entitled: E.R. valet? Thanks, but no thanks. Saturday night was an entirely different experience that changed my perspective. I was happy to hand over my car keys instead of competing for a parking spot. And I didn’t even flinch afterwards when I paid a tip. Amazingly, as in record time, we were headed home two hours later with Peter's arm cast in blue because camouflage wasn't an option. Now I just hope he doesn’t attempt to remove the “hot” cast himself like the time he took out the stitches in his thumb the day after it was sewn together. I think it's safe to say that I’m finally earning my stripes of wisdom that are unique to motherhood and come when children admit, "You were right." I only wished my "big ass" son had listened when I'd warned him earlier.