The One Thing I NEVER Expected My Child to do…

I was pacing back and forth, borderline hysterical. How could he do something SO crazy?! On one hand I am praying for G-d to protect my son from needing surgery and internal bleeding, on the other I am thinking, He better protect him from me!

It started like any typical morning. I did our usual pep talk before we began our day at Nickerson’s Home School. I reminded them that Mom and Dad are going to need to study for our midterms, so we need to be extra efficient. Right?!

My eye’s locked with theirs. Their little heads bobbed up and down with agreement.  Yes, message has been received! I communicated lovingly and I hit a home run!  Score for Mom!

Not even one hour, ONE HOUR, had passed before my house of cards came tumbling down.

You see, I am learning there is NO such thing as preparation for young children.  Nope, they live in the moment. You can talk their ears off, set up schedules, promise cool surprises…  For the most part, they get pumped and as quickly as their balloon inflates; it is released and goes flying around the room and ends up a heap lying on the floor swollen from all the what could have been to, it’s not happening.

It all started with Literature and Comprehension.  My son loves to read and talk (A boy after my own heart), but hates to write. (Why?  How can he turn on me?) My mind can’t even comprehend the thought of not loving to write!  I am a writer!

I thought Narnia would draw him in and it did, until he was asked to write.  I have stated, reasoned, pep talked, pleaded, threatened, all in one day (One of many).  I found my frustration brewing into a catastrophic storm.  It dawned on me, my children will forever remember that I was going to college for a degree in ministry. They will tell the tale of the monstrous mother who blew a gasket at every little thing because she need more time to study Jesus!

Can we say hypocrite?

So I think aha devil, I am going to one up you and slap you across the face with a prayer of surrender! I will douse the kids in what I have learned from class and make a teaching moment out of all of this!  Yes, brilliant!

So I prayed, breathed, released, and calmly asked my son for his pencil.

He wouldn’t give it to me.

I stuck my hand out and fluttered it about in Mommy language which means, hand it over boy!

He still wouldn’t give it over.

I was puzzled. You see, he is my rule follower. He is brutally honest (wonder where he got that from, ahem) and will usually obey any direct command.

He has been known to nibble on an eraser while writing, and it dawned on me, he must have eaten the eraser! He is trying to hide the evidence!

I snatched it out of his hand and I lifted the pencil high!  I waved it in the light of day and said, “AHA!” He took a step back and looked positively guilty. Only, the eraser was intact.


If the eraser is there, why the shame? What am I not understanding? My Mom radar was telling me a misdeed had been done, but where is the evidence?

Then I saw it, the metal band around the eraser was jaggedly sticking out!There is a chunk missing; my blood ran cold.

Perplexed I asked him almost sarcastically, “So you ate the metal band? Who does that?”

No response.

Fear has now just spread to every vessel in my body.

“You didn’t eat the metal band! It’s sharp!! It’s dangerous!!!” I reasoned with him, all the while hoping he would deny it. But he didn’t.

Words came out, they were not good. I will repent of them later.

I called my husband hoping he could convince me that there was nothing to be worried about. Of course he didn’t answer. He couldn’t talk me off the ledge!

Next, I called the doctor’s office. Surely they could put my mind at ease. We have had Lego swallowing’s and a pea up the nose emergencies before, and we were assured all would be well.

The receptionist answered. I cut the niceties and sternly asked for the nurse. I needed to talk to her, NOW!  All I could think of was this jagged piece of metal cutting my sweet boy’s insides. . If they know I am nervous, they will be nervous. When they get nervous, they instruct us to go the ER. I  don’t want to go!! The nurse answered, I played it cool but straight to the point. She instructs him to eat some bread and drink some water. Success! We are ALL good. (Whew)

She informs me we must clear it with doctor and chuckles. I get off the phone and give the boy what for and all the what could have been scenario’s. He cries. I cry. My daughter cries.

My husband finally calls back and I relay all the specifics. 7mm long and 4 mm wide jagged metal band. My normally cool as a cucumber husband says, “He did what?!” Panic surges through my body.

He sternly requests that I send a picture. This freaks me out because normally School of Seth says, don’t worry about it.  After all, it’s small piece of jagged metal right?

He’s baffled. Time to call his mom who used to be an Endoscopy nurse.  She is on the fence. I finally start to calm down and decide there really isn’t anything the doctor can do.  It’s so small.  I am not going to take him down to the ER so they can charge me $2,000 to say, he will pass it on his own.

My husband finally gets home and we agree to wait.  We decided to focus on what would be a fitting punishment for putting us through all of this.

The nurse calls back, it’s been three hours. NOW, she wants a plan of action?

WHAT? I thought we were in the clear?

She says we need to get him to the hospital ASAP.

Seth reasons with her that it will pass on it’s own.  She replies, “The metal could drag along his intestines and cause a perforation.  We don’t want him to bleed to death.”

We have to take him in.  I sob and hug my boy like it is our last.

He looks at me and says, “Don’t worry Mom, G-d is with me.” I cry harder.

They leave. I call and text for prayers. My friend prayed with me and peace starts to soothe my guilt ridden body. I hang up and continue pray.

While we wait, the minutes tick by like every one is an eternity.  Like most women my mind tries to assess the situation:

Is he going to need surgery?

It’s my fault, I made him write!

I am a horrible mother!

What can they really do?  The bill is going to be huge!

There better be something there!

No, I take it back!  Please let nothing be there!

The phone rings, it’s Seth. “They are going to need to X-ray, but probably it will be fine.  Hopefully nature will take it’s course and watch for bleeding.”

Relief spills over my body and I cry tears of joy and I thank G-d for answered prayers!  Now the boy better say his prayers because I am going to get him!

Long story short, he is home under watchful eyes. We will have to keep a close eye on him for the next three days. Thank G-d for now he is safe.  I can laugh about it now, but yesterday I was terrified. I love my sweet boy more than words ever can express. I would be crushed if anything happened to him. Losing our other children has made me prone to probably reacting more dramatically than the average parent. Poor kid has a mother hen sitting on him.  He never had a chance.

Oddly, the thought pops in my head, have there been any other pencils? The sad answer is, yes. There have been others. I found their mutilated little pencil bodies, they didn’t even have a chance.  Lord, have mercy…

What’s a Mama supposed to do?  Burn all the pencils? Therapy?  How about cheese Danish? Yes, that will help for now.  Till I get the bill…


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