I hate when the school nurse calls. Almost nothing good comes from a call that starts, “Hello, Mrs. Wilk, this is the nurse from school.”
Right before Christmas I received one of these calls. The nurse informed me Noodge 1 was hurt in gym class. She kept talking, but the only words I caught after were, call your doctor and emergency room. It didn’t matter what was hurt or how, I just had to get to the school as fast as my Dodge Durango could take me. Thank God, for V8 engines.
Now, let me explain, I laugh when I’m nervous. I’m pretty sure I got a speeding ticket the very first time I was pulled over, a hundred years ago, because I laughed while the police officer was talking to me. He probably thought I was an obnoxious teenager, but I was really scared to death.
When the receptionist at the school said the nurse would bring Noodge 1 to me instead of me going down to the nurse’s office, I turned away because the effervescence of laughter was making its way out my mouth and over my lips. I clamped my teeth shut and repeated the mantra, “don’t laugh.” How bad was he? I should have paid better attention on the phone. And honestly, it would have been terrible if Noodge 1 thought I was laughing at him and his injuries.
I’m not a patient person. I don’t like to wait for anything so imagine how hard it was to wait for the Noodge to be brought to me. The nurse didn’t take long, it just felt long. If I couldn’t laugh, I’d pace. Doesn’t look any crazier than laughing. Really. Trust me.
You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? I stared down the long, school hallway, red lockers lining each side, and willed that nurse to show up. A door opened into the hallway, and a short woman with dark hair, backed out a child, wait for it now, in a wheelchair into the hall. My next thoughts: “Don’t pass out.”
I really am good under pressure, and if you want to read about how I handled Noodge 2’s trip to the ER you can here, but I can’t stand the sight of blood or anything remotely resembling an injury. I hated high school biology for a reason. Noodge 1 was coming to me in a wheel chair. I couldn’t laugh or pass out. That wasn’t going to be easy.
But I have to tell you. Mothers can rally. We pull up our boot straps and tighten our belts. Our children need us. Passing out is for the weak. I plastered a smile on my face, swallowed the laughter, made my legs hold me up, and drove my kid to the walk-in place with an x-ray machine and avoided the ten hour wait in the ER. I didn’t face plant, vomit or crack-up. I can handle a call from the school nurse any day of the week. Piece of cake.