Monday, May 12, 2008

I Love the Hospital

Late this morning, I received a call from my wife at my desk.

"Honey, the girl's cast is loose. They want you to bring her down."

A couple of weeks back, my third daughter (age 5, child #3) discovered that the couch is NOT the proper forum for the ballet. She fell to the floor, broke her fall with her arms, and therein broke one of them. A "buckle" fracture of the left radius, to be precise. Since then, she has been in a cast.

Now, most of our friends and memebers of our "peer group" are two-car families. My wife and I made a conscious decision to get by with only one. It's not always easy or convenient, but avoiding that second car payment/car insurance payment can do wonders for your budget.

Today was going to be one of those days where it was less convenient, and not particularly easy, either.

My wife brings in extra money for us by babysitting during the day. But because it is an informal arrangement, she doesn't get paid time off. I do. And It's not always possible for her to get the parents to come pick up their children in the middle of the day. So, when something like this happens, I am the one who leaves work for a couple of hours.

The one thing about it that I love is this - the rest of my life is spent rushing from one event to another, and when I can spend time with my kids it is almost ALWAYS with all four at once. It is rare that any of them get one-on-one time with Daddy. But at the Hospital, we can sit together in the children's waiting room and play with the few toys that they have, I can read them a story, or we can watch a show on one of the monitors. It forces me to sit there, patiently, spending time with just one child, comforting them, easing their pain and allaying their fears, without feeling guilty about what the other three are doing right then.

So, we went to the hospital, Jessie and I, to get a new cast. We sat in the waiting room together, cuddled up on a love seat. The Orthopedic Technician had to cut throught the old cast first, and the noise from the electric saw scared her. So, she sat on my lap, and held my hand, and I told her that everything would be all right, and she didn't have to be scared. And I was right.

I love the Hospital.

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