So, a few weeks ago my sons were both up north at Church camp. My husband calls me because he had just gotten a call from Zach and the camp nurse. Zach had hurt his ankle while playing soccer at camp. The nurse thought it could possibly be broken. It swelled up, turned black & blue, and hurt him. We had to decide if we wanted him taken into town to have it X-rayed, or wait till he got home. We went back & forth. It's easier to wait till he comes home, when we can take him ourselves, but then that's late on Friday, so we'd have to wait out the weekend as well. And our other concern is that Zach runs track at school. (He ran the 100 & the 200 on Varsity last year as a sophomore, in one of the largest high schools in the state.) So if we wait and it was broken and it hadn't been set right at the beginning, would that damage his ankle more in the long run? So, we thought better safe than sorry. We had it X-rayed there, and thankfully it wasn't broken, he had severely sprained it they told us. So he spent the rest of the week at camp & the following two weeks in a splint and on crutches. He is seeing both, our regular Dr. as well as a Chiropractor. And his ankle is doing much better!
So, now back to my original question: during the week he was still at camp, as John & I were talking this whole thing through, I asked him, "Why do you think he called you first and not me?" (A similar situation had happened at camp a few years earlier as well, and again, Dad was the first call. And his response is always, "let me talk it over with Mom and we'll call you back.") John said, "I have no idea why they would call me instead of you." And seeing where I was going with this we started to come up with possible reasons that he would be the first call, like . . . I always put his cell phone number down as our emergency contact number, because I know he always has his phone on his person, while mine is in my purse and if I'm not holding my purse at that moment I might not hear the phone ring. Also, the kids all know this as well and might think the best way to reach us is through their Dad's cell phone.
And as we're talking about this I also realize that almost every time one of the kids gets sick in the night, or has had a bad dream, John is the one they wake-up first. So, we think maybe it's because his side of the bed is closest to the door. (There's got to be a good reason for this! Right?) Then John says, "You can blame it on whatever you want, but, I know what the real reason is," I'm dying to know why our kids would call him before they call me. So, I ask just what that reason is. He said, "You don't fool me, I know all those nights when you were up with our kids when they were baby's, rocking them, feeding them, soothing them, you were whispering in their ear 'when your older & get sick in the night, or get hurt, wake-up Daddy, because Mommy needs her sleep.'" I just laughed.
It is true that I was never one of those moms who got all upset that after all my labor pains, and sleepless night's with a newborn, that my kids said "Dada" first. I always used it to my advantage. When they would wake up in the middle of the night, I'd nudge John and say, "The baby's calling you," and roll over and go back to sleep. Or I'd say something like, "You know I would love to change another messy, stinky diaper, but he did ask for you, and I wouldn't want to disappoint him!" Brilliant, I know!
But, now I guess I know how all those dads feel after years and years of coaching their kids, and teaching them everything they know about life and sports, how they must feel when their son or daughter wins an Olympic gold medal, or wins the super bowl, or state championship, only to look into the camera and mouth the words "Hi Mom!"