Blood, running down a face or a leg or an arm, is what I’m talking about. Heaven knows I’ve seen enough of it, raising these boys. Stitches too numerous to count. Bandaids, gauze, and gallons of isopropyl alcohol poured foamy white into hundreds of gashes.
The worst of it is always before I know what the injury is. There’s blood, there are hands covering, there might or might not be wailing. The pleading, don’t touch, don’t touch, don’t touch! And the feeling I get in my gut, before I know whether there has been severing or puncturing or just what it is I’ll be dealing with… that’s the worst.
Once I know what I’ve got, I’m usually okay.
Except for the last time. For some reason, the blood stopped me in my tracks. The I’m bleeding, and the trail of red from the basement to the sink, and the pouring of it down his face, and the thinking he might have lost an eye or something. It put me right down, my head between my knees.
I’m thinking it’s because his dad was here. Dad was available and took charge and I didn’t have to fight past that I can’t do this feeling. So I was able to be the weak that I was feeling.
I’m thinking this is what it was.
I’m still not used to him being here. I’m still adjusting to the two-parents-dealing-with-stuff thing.
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the blood. But having the man around? Oh yeah.