"Her hand did get kind of caught in the seat," Jack says.
It's 8:45 pm, the children tumbled from dinner table to bed, toothbrushes scuttled through the nightly round.
Betsy won't nurse. She cries and cries. And cries. I think her arm feels weird.
"Did one of you try to pick Betsy up and have her get hurt?" I say. I roust children one at a time, groggy and bleary eyed.
"It was when I was folding down the seat in the car," Jack sobs. He's a cataract of tears. "I just thought she was ok," he says.
"Oh, no," I say.
Inconsolable. Jack. Betsy.
So we trounce to the ER -- nurses with kind faces, doctors with concerned eyes. We wait, and wait. And wait. Betsy gives startling and robust protest to the doctor exam. And we wait. And wait. An x-ray. And wait.
And then, nothing. There, in a black plastic chair, Betsy flaps and flaps that arm. She flaps like bird and grins. The arm is perfect. The doctor comes back.
"No fracture," she says.
"Nope," I say.
So we drive home. Home.
"I love you, Jack," I say. "Even if something terrible did happen to Betsy, I'd still. love. you."
Tears squeeze out of his eyes. He holds me in a bear hug.
"I love you no. matter. what."
Motherhood shatters in complexity. Danger and security hold hands. Immovable and moving mountains, there we stand. The universe parts around us.
5674. Betsy's arm is whole and strong.
5675. Craig ferries us through the ER with the ease of a pilot.
5676. We find many of the people there go to our church.
5677. I revisit the truth: I affect nothing. God affects everything. My dependence on him nourishes me.
5678. I work to ease my ebbing stress and subsequent headache.
5679. We endure a storm with hurricane force gusts. We lose power for 18 hours, but none of our food spoils. We stay warm by the fireplace.
5680. The storm passes, and I witness the destruction. Neighbors along my morning run have left houses crushed by fallen trees. Other pines lean wildly over power lines. Some completely block roads. Traffic lights don't work.
5681. People come together. Camaraderie ensues. More than 60% of the area without power three days later, we come together. We offer and open our homes. We talk. A special bond of shared pain brings us closer than ever. Even strangers are neighbors in a new way.
5682. My in-laws come for lunch. Even though I burn the soup, everyone eats it.
5683. Even in adversity, we find hope right there beside us -- especially, in adversity.
5684. Thanksgiving awaits. A grateful heart. We make this our treasure, our goal, our reality.