Single Parenting & The Fall

George fell out of bed last night. I don’t know that he’s ever fallen out of bed. He’s six. It was the worst noise I’ve ever heard. Well, maybe the second worst, cause the  worst was when my daughter was 5 months old and she flew over my shoulder and landed on the wood floor on her stomach. I was standing.

This was sort of the same noise, except I was in bed. It came out of the blue.

He’s fine. But it was terrifying for those moments it took me to untangle my legs from the sheets and the books and the computer and all the stuff that was on the bed with me. The scream was mortifying. I couldn’t get to him fast enough and I kept thinking about how his bedside table is too big and he surely hit his head and there are things like crates with toys in them all over the floor close to his bed. I was sure I was going to see blood.

He’s fine. He was terrified. He screamed and then there was a weird wail and

then he just cried. It sounded so terrible the fifteen year old climbed in bed with us and lovingly stroked his back while I held him. George is sick. He was on cold medicine. He fell back to sleep in under ten minutes. He’s fine.

I’m not. I tucked a pillow around him and went back to my room. I got back up and wandered our tiny house. I shooed the dog off the couch and put out the tinfoil that keeps him off the furniture at night. I brushed my teeth. I ate half a gluten-free muffin and went to read. I ate  a bowl of cereal and watched Hulu. I ate a hot dog wrapped in wheat bread and then I brushed my teeth again.

I hate single parenting. I was so scared and there was no one to be scared with. And as I was tossing and turning, pacing and eating I was acutely aware of that feeling. Acutely aware of how I hate single parenting. There was no one to grab George while I grabbed the car keys if we needed to go to the hospital. As I was pouring a glass of water I remembered how low the gas tank was. Would I make it to the hospital? Then I remembered that the hospital is only four blocks away. And I could always call 911 if I absolutely had to.

I didn’t hate it cause I needed help. I’m one of the best people I know in an emergency. And there is that highly intelligent, highly capable fifteen year old in the basement. So I wasn’t alone. It wasn’t about being alone.

I wanted to call someone. I wanted to share how scared I was, even if it was only for a few moments. I wanted to crawl into someone’s arms and be thankful that he missed all the crates and things with edges. I wanted to have someone stroke my hair and tell me how lucky we are that George is so laid back and can go right back to sleep after something like that.

I finally fell asleep. I fell asleep after some college students set off fireworks and the dogs went berserk. When I finally settled my racing heart I slept. Fitfully, but I slept.

So the recap for the week is that I love living alone. I hate single parenting.


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