Life Is Funny Like That

Not exactly the way I expected to spend my Friday night. I imagined it may have involved pizza, a glass of wine, a book, maybe even a pontoon ride. Instead I spent it in the emergency room in Ludington with three teenagers I barely knew.

Who knew I would actually have such a good time?

Okay, maybe it was not so good a time for the guy we took there. Bloody lip, fuzzy brain. In the end it all worked out okay, the procedural CT scan they immediately order when someone loses consciousness (even for a minute) came out okay, and no stitches were necessary, instead they super glued him up.

Man we so could have done that ourselves (just kidding).

It looked awful. Photo credit courtesy of my son Mitch. I would never have thought to take a pic.

I love it when life just works out sometimes. 

For the first time ever, Mitch has been hanging out with some boys he met at the lake this summer. Wakeboarding, surfing, doing whatever boys do. I was starting to get curious about what kind of kids they really were. My momdar (mom radar) was telling me it might be time to check them out. I'm used to knowing who he hangs with.

Yesterday, when I came up from the beach, they were all here. Perfect. We needed a spotter for a tubing run, and they all agreed to come along. 

I had only met one of the boys, once for about 5 minutes. Mostly I just knew their names, and a couple details I'd gathered up and tucked away about them, one was an outdoorsman, one's parents had split, both went to Grandville high...little things like that. But me, being me, likes the nitty gritty details. What are their grades like, their attitudes, are they polite, are they responsible, do they have jobs? (I did already mention in an earlier post that I like to ask questions, right?).

Yep, it was my idea, I took them tubing. (And yes, there is a bit of residual guilt over me having been the boat driver, for it being my idea, and mostly that this accident occurred on my watch.) Anyway, the girls tubed, then the boys jumped onto what we call our "old lady tube", the virtually unflippable tube that anyone can ride. To make it more exciting, the boys decided to try flipping the unflippable.

They were successful. Somewhere in the third flip, his friend's teeth went thru his lip.

Holy bloody mess. Ick.

Being a mom, I could not send him a half an hour away to the ER with his little brother in charge. Little, is a bit of a misnomer, his brother is 16 going on 30. I put myself in their mom's place and knew I'd want some parental supervision in attendance. It was a face wound after all, and it looked like it was going need 12 stitches.

No question, I'm taking him.

The four of us set off on our adventure, my injured party, his little brother, another friend of theirs, and me. It began a little crazy, the minor concussion my injured party had received, along with the lip cut, had made him a little fuzzy. He was talking a bit of gibberish from the backseat, and at times, he was downright funny. (When I could laugh and stop thinking about all the stitches I thought he would need.)

We made our trek to the Ludington ER, the boys taking my mind off of the worry by joking and talking. After checking in and being told we'd have "quite a wait" (is it ever any different than that?), we settled in. Being prepared, I had brought along a book.

Much to my surprise, I never even opened that book. I never even wanted to.

The time spent waiting in a hospital ER usually crawls by, but this time, it flew by. Me, asking questions of the boys and listening to their answers, them telling me stories, sharing more details of their lives to add to my "mental file" on them, and a grunt or two from the injured guy who had ice on his lip...and a whopping headache.

I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to sit with kids I barely knew, and have them talk to me. Really talk. And not "at" me or begrudgingly, because they had to. It seemed like they wanted to talk to me.  To me, this mom --who wasn't afraid to go all "mom" at them--asking where are your shoes, bossing them around, making them wear their seatbelts in the backseat-- whom they didn't even know.

I loved it. Without the accident, and the ensuing trip to the hospital, I probably never would have had the opportunity to get to know these boys so well, so fast. I'm counting my blessings for the experience.

And I'll cherish it as one of those special bonding experiences that only happens in a crisis. Proof positive they got the Terri seal of approval: by the end of the night I  asked them to check my teeth for Beer Nut skins. And I think we talked about poop. (No, not really.)

Great guys. Great adventure. I am so lucky my kid knows how to pick his friends.