My Very Own Rocky

I knew this would happen one day.

So it happened this Saturday.

Blood, an open wound, an acute medical emergency, and the permanent scarring of my nearly perfect child's body and skin...

We were at the playground. A good friend and I met for coffee that morning. When Oliver was delivered back to me, she thought it would be great to walk down the street to the playground — er, the antiquated playground (yes, I shall be writing a long overdue letter to the school) — so we could further enjoy our conversations and coffee whilst my son traced the grounds jumping, running, sliding and swaying. Rather nice if you ask me.

I'm not a helicopter parent. I don't scream, gasp or run to my child's rescue. I do not watch him every moment of the hour, not allowing him the dignity to learn and experience success or failure on his own. There are consequences to risks, and Peanut knows exactly when to ask for help. I trust him. I guide him. I run to his rescue, yes, but only when called for. There is a maternal instinct in me that I trust; I abide by its messaging system. I know when it's time to involve myself, and I know when it's time to keep out.

He was overly excited this day. My friend, Angie is her name, was interacting with him playfully (a parent of two, now grown, boys herself), and he responded with glee. It was great.

That's why I was taken aback when Angie gasped in horror while Oliver was off in the near distance, playing and running. She bounced up, and I looked in the direction of Peanut just in time to watch him drop to the ground. Nothing major. She ran ahead of me, and I walked, pacing myself because really, it was just a fall. But in that moment I knew something else must have happened, something I missed.

He cried, a loud powerful cry. OK, that must have hurt I thought. She held him as he wailed. I approached, and she turned him toward me and guided him into my arms.

Oh.   My.    God.

I knew. It took only one look. It was bad. There was blood dripping from his eyebrow which was split wide open. Stitches. There was no mistaking it. And then my brain went to: scar. And then to: how am I going to explain this to X?

And then Power Momma kicked in. I told Peanut immediately, You are going to be OK. You are going to be OK. Mommy is here. You are going to be OK.

I don't know if I was trying to convince him or myself. That perfect face. That crystal skin. That little boy. That pain he must feel.

My friend took charge right away. Somewhere in the background I heard her say, “Do you have a tissue? Cloth?” Next thing I knew my headband was pulled off and placed against his brow. “Keep pressure on it.” she said. “I’ll get his bike. Can you carry him?”

What? What? What? Carry him? Bike? My head was swirling. I picked up the 36 lbs of him. Two blocks. That’s all it was. Two blocks of intense crying. Then it stopped. I looked down. He was calm.

The third block he was entirely quiet. My friend was chatting the whole time. How am I going to do this? Can I do this? I asked myself. Alone? I just kept telling Oliver he was going to be OK and that I was here. I was so glad Angie was here.

What happened? I asked Ang.

He hit the bar. 

Damn. I thought. He always hits that same damn bar. Only this time he slammed into it. I was sorry I missed it. But I knew he hit it hard enough to knock him to the ground; obviously. It split his brow wide open. Stitches. Dammit.

Once home, we kept pressure on the wound and found the urgent care covered by insurance. At first I thought I needed Angie with me the entire time, but as I came to, I realized I could handle this. Just drive the boy to urgent care. He had completely stopped crying by now and was able to apply pressure to the wound himself. “Where’s your first aid kit?” Angie pressed. Huh? First aid? Do I have first aid? Mental note to self, Stock a good first aid kit for Pete's sake! She found gauze (thank god) as she scrambled around my house, and we were good to go.


By the time Oliver and I got to Children's Hospital, he was merry. He was not bleeding hardly at all anymore and was quick to tell everyone and anyone who would listen about his busted eyebrow. "Wanna see my owie?" he'd say. Not really... I’m certain most folks thought. Sure! they’d reply with false enthusiasm. Wow! You are such a big, brave boy! He delighted in that. Some mothers would wink at me — been there.


In the waiting room I had a hard time keeping him from jumping, running and climbing. Really? I thought. Really? Must they have such fun chairs and ottomans here? Most everyone in the waiting room seemed to have whooping cough too. Great. Arrive with a wound. Leave with stitches and viruses. Nice.

open wound

Oz board

Oliver and Mommy waiting for Dr Arce and the nurse

But the boy was a trooper. He took everything like a champ. Not one more tear. Not one peep. Listened perfectly. To me. To the nurses. To the doctor.

jeff keeps him company

beautiful patient boy



He's tough. Much tougher than I thought.

I recorded the first stitch on the iPad. After that, I put my director's hat down and decided to partake in the comforting of my very own Rocky; my brave son.

Seven stitches.

7 stitches

Mommy He survived 7 stitches. Wow!

bounce back

A mother couldn’t be prouder.

And Peanut has a new name and theme song.


  1. See, It's amazing how so much can happen in the blink of an eye! Stuff you'd never expect! Glad he's doing okay! Poor lil man! Altho watching that stitch made my stomach turn... I can't believe how calm he was, holy crap! A few months ago I watched a lil 6 year old girl get stitches and it was 1 of the worst things I've ever watched in my life! SO HORRIBLE!!!!! I had to clench my jaw so that I wouldn't cry, and my mom could hear her screams from the waiting room :( It was so bad and sad. So that was amazing that Oliver did so well! Good for him, what a brave lil man! xoxo *Megs*

  2. Oh, Peanut! Oh mommy! You both handled it so well. I feel like crying, but in a good impressed way. :)

    I've noticed that a lot of people (but it's mostly men) seem to have scars on their brow bone in that exact spot, incurred from injuries just like this one... meeting life head-on!

    Good job to the both of you! (And we miss you so much, sorry I'm so lame about keeping in touch!)


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