Often people say that their wedding is the best day of their life. I can’t completely say that. Our wedding day was beautiful in many aspects and sacred in that we did celebrate our sacrament of marriage…but it was also really stinkin’ traumatic. The first time Mike saw me in my dress he was lying down on a couch in the back room of a photography studio, so unbelievably sick. I was a mess – shaky, scared and a complete emotional wreck. We got through the wedding, thankfully, and many would say that it was a lovely event; the reception was even fun! But spending our wedding night in the ER was NOT.
So, every year, on our anniversary, for the most part, the anniversary celebration has been WAY more meaningful, special and fun than our actual wedding day. We do have A LOT to celebrate with each passing year. This year, as I’d said, my parents had generously offered to take all three kiddos to Port Ludlow. I talked to them on Saturday morning while they played happily at one of our favorite beaches over there. We call it the “Lagoon Beach” and it’s the perfect place to frolic. The boys bring nets and try to catch crabs. Kayli floated a rubber ducky along one of the many little streams. They were having a ball.
Mike and I played a card game while we ate breakfast. (He made delicious eggs benedict. I totally won the game). We even spent a couple of hours being productive and getting some housework done. Then, it was time to clean up and head to dinner, then head to a comedy show (with champagne service!) and plans to go dancing afterwards. Just when we were wrapping up our dinner at the restaurant, Mike got a call on his cellphone. I could tell something wasn’t good. His face fell and he kept saying, “Uh oh. Oh no. OK. Oh no.” He handed the phone over to me. I walked out on to the patio of the restaurant so I could hear my mom better. With a slightly shakey voice speaking over the sounds of Kayli wailing in the background she told me that Kayi had hurt her arm climbing up on the bed. She’d not fallen, she was just climbing up and all of a sudden started to scream. She’d been crying and hadn’t moved her right arm or let anyone touch it since. Sooooo….we quickly got the bill and a to-go box, came home to grab a few things and I changed out of my “date night” clothes (and heels). We got in the car (where I called the comedy club to reschedule our tickets – they were very accommodating) and headed towards Silverdale (a little over an hour away) where we’d be meeting my parents in the ER.
It’s hard not to reflect on the irony here. I mean, how many people have to go meet up in the ER because one of their kiddos is there? Sure, that happens often enough. But how many people have to do it on their wedding anniversary? How many people actually celebrate their wedding anniversary in the same place where they spent their wedding night? And how many people can actually say that location is a hospital Emergency Room?! We’re pretty….uh….special.
I’m happy to say that while I’m really, really bummed our anniversary plans were cancelled – and in the way they were – and our weekend without kids was cut abruptly short; I handled the whole thing very well. I feel that maybe – miraculously – a bit of maturing has occurred in the last 11 years! Say it ain’t so! While I used to automatically jump to a “why me? Boo hoo. This is so unfair…on our anniversary…wah wah” whiney place, this time ‘round my immediate thought was, “Thank God everyone’s OK.” (Well, yes, Kayli’s arm was hurt, but at least they weren’t in a car accident…at least we weren’t heading to the ER because of Cancer or something equally bad.) I even said, “Thank you, God, that it’s Kayli’s arm…and not something worse.” I was able to keep things in perspective – at least she was with my parents. I’d have felt terrible if this had happened with a babysitter or friends (‘cuz you know THEY’D feel AWFUL and responsible. While, yes, my mom especially felt awful, she can handled it fairly well). I was thankful that we weren’t in the middle of nowhere camping or something. I was thankful that I’d thought to tell Mike to turn his phone on at dinner (even though the battery is dying a slow, agonizing death and he needs a new cellphone). I was thankful that we hadn’t gone out of town for our anniversary and we were only an hour away. I was thankful we were at dinner and not at a movie or something where we wouldn’t have gotten the message for a while. I was thankful the hospital called to get our Insurance information over the phone so that we didn’t have to take care of that when we got there. I was thankful my parents were able to get ahold of friends with whom they could drop the boys while they went to the ER. I was thankful we had a full tank of gas and didn’t have to prolong our arrival to be with our daughter in the hospital….
Anyway, we made it safely and as quick as possible to Silverdale. We found the medical center/Emergency Room with no problem and were immediately told where to find Kayliana and my parents. My poor little sweetie. She looked so tiny propped up on the exam table/bed. She had two stuffed animals to cuddle with – Zach had loaned her his dog “Zelda” and she had a teddy bear the nurse had given her. My parents had done a fantastic job of trying to keep her as comfortable as possible, but we could tell that something was wrong. Kayli had TWO blankies and wasn’t sucking her fingers. (If she’s got a blankie, then she’s sucking two fingers on her right hand. Her arm just hung limp by her side). Kayli started to cry as soon as she saw me…which she still does every time I go to pick her up from the kids’ club at the gym. It’s like she wants me to remember that she KNOWS I left her and she’s kinda mad about it…even though she was fine and had fun the whole time I was gone.
Dad filled us in: the ER nurse took one look at Kayli’s arm and knew right away that it was a dislocated elbow (“Nursemaid Elbow.”) Thankfully it wasn’t broken. We wouldn’t have to get X-Rays. The doctor would have to just quickly (but painfully) pop it back into place. She’d be fine five minutes later, BUT….once a child has dislocated her elbow, it’s a lot more likely to happen again….and again…and again…they usually outgrow this issue by 3-4 years of age. But IF they do redislocate the elbow, you have to take them in everytime. I’ve heard a few stories of ‘Oh, our kid did that so many times, by the 7th trip to the ER, the doctor just taught us how to do it…’ Yeah, this doctor looked very serious when he said, “Don’t try this at home.” And I wouldn’t want to. I just held Kayli and stroked her hair and looked away while the doctor described what he was doing. Kayli was a champ. She started crying just when we were taking her shirt off and she didn’t stop until the nurse offered to bring her graham crackers – ahhh, food! and reminded her that she’d get to keep the little teddy bear she’d been given. But, all in all, she really was better after a few minutes. We’d sent my parents home to be with the boys and then we packed Kayli up to take home with us. She chatted and jabbered, pointing out the window, giggling the whole drive home. Since she’d not eaten dinner and ours was cut short, we picked up Blizzards at the DQ drive-through.
Mike said lamely, “Happy Anniversary blizzards…” But, I WAS happy (and not just with the chocolate-coffee ice cream with Oreo cookie chunks). I am happy and so thankful.
Pre-date (and pre-ER) hotness
the little champ
Even photogenic in the ER!