Two Sides of Motherhood

“Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary—it’s an act of infinite optimism.” – Gilda Radner

I had to temporarily suspend my trip down memory lane and jump from 1977 to 2019. For some insane reason I decided going on a mini road trip with the children during spring break was a good idea, all while trying to prepare our home to be placed on the market.

My husband and I went back and forth with the idea. Me wanting to provide an opportunity to travel and distract them from the move and my husband questioning the timing and concerns about us being on the road by ourselves. Of course I dismissed the latter and insisted the experience would be invaluable.

So Friday we got a jump start on our excellent adventure. We drive from St. Louis to Tulsa, OK. We checked into the Hyatt Regency and walked down to an area with some really interesting dinner options. We settled for the Lone Wolf, that was an Asian infused cuisine. Kids had a chicken sandwich and I had a ginger fritter fried rice bowl. We talked about what the kids wanted to see the following day, with Black Wall in the Greenwood neighborhood.

Saturday morning we got off to a late start so in order to be on the road by noon, we narrowed our options down to Oneok Field and Greenwood. We took some quick pictures of the field and my youngest shared what he had read about the field during breakfast.

We then headed over to Black Wall Street in Greenwood. My kids were blown away with the story and the struggled with the amount of hate that resulted in its tragedy, but were equally amazed by the resilience and determination to rebuild after the race riots. After reading the man plaques and visiting the monument and murals, the kids wanted to ride some of the ride sharing scooters parked at the edge of the district.

We could only get one if the scooters to work and after 15 minutes at a failed attempt of them sharing one scooter, me the frustrated mom decided to end that part of the excursion. We gassed up and headed to Dallas, TX.

Since we were ahead of schedule, we took our time with this leg of the trip and made a few stops on the way, finally arriving in Dallas at my best friend’s home. The following morning my girlfriend was finally able to get me to go hiking after years of threats. Let it be known I’m not an outdoorsman at all. I respect nature, but I tend to enjoy it from afar.

But I must admit I appreciated the beauty along the trail and welcomed the quality time with my dear friend.

Later that afternoon the kids and I headed to downtown Dallas for some site seeing. After what seem like forever, we lucked up on an excellent parking spot and we started quest of discovery of what Dallas had to offer. Just a few feet from our car the kids spotted some scooters. Of course they wanted to ride again, and with seeing so many people zipping around I consented and rented 2 scooters. Before I knew it the kids took off and within seconds my daughter lost control of her scooter and fell. My initial reaction was, “Maya will never want to do anything “adventurous” again. But then my son who ran to her aid fell back on his butt and started screaming. I immediately realized this was more serious then a simple scrape and took off running. My baby had facial trauma that left her unrecognizable and her clothes were torn from the sliding on the concrete.

I’m not sure which kicked in first, panicked mom or professionally trained first aid I just received a couple of weeks prior. I believe it was a combination of both. With my hand applying pressure to the the gaping wound on her forehead that was bleeding the most, I had to yell at my 12 year to calm down and call 912, while also screaming for someone to help.

A couple driving pass, stopped and help, the man also called 911 and the woman used my son’s sweatshirt to replace my blood covered hand. Emergency vehicles arrived and EMS took over. The woman immediately started praying over my daughter while holding me, while I was holding my son who was screaming he was sorry. The officers took my information, told me about the dangers of the scooters and advised me to end my rentals and take pictures.

It was then I realized her head had hit that metal box on the side of the utility pole. They were still assessing my daughter’s injuries on the ambulance and officer advised me to retrieve my car so I follow the ambulance to Children’s Medical Center.

Maya was immediately rushed to a trauma room where they got x-rays, cut her clothes off and began listening a long list of injuries. In the car I was trying to figure out how I was going to tell my husband. Things looked bad and I didn’t know how bad. At worst there could be brain trauma. I opted to wait until I had something to report. So while a very kind social worker was distracting my youngest with apple juice, I started texting and making calls.

“Wallace, let me start with Maya is fine. She was involved in an accident…”. Of course he freaked out. At that point they hadn’t found any fractures, but they were taking her to get a CT scan and some more x-rays. Questions about insurance, signing for consent, texting family, checking on Amari, answering more questions and looking up and seeing my best friend arriving. She had already given Amari a new sweat shirt to replace his blood soaked one. At some point I requested something because he had on a tee-shirt and was worried he was going to be cold inside the hospital.

Broken nose, 2 teeth pushed back out of place, both top and bitten lips mangled in her braces, a head laceration that will require stitches, and a fractured femur that will require surgery. No brain trauma.

In this moment I felt like the worst mother in the world. I suddenly saw the value in over protective parents. I kicked myself for ignoring all the things I checked through to ride the scooters… Helmet, age… I was a horrible horrible horrible mother. Nothing anyone could say would change my mind.

Somehow I went from this adventurous mother to the worst mom on the planet earth. As I write this, my baby is finally resting comfortably after five hours of surgery. I feel like a fraud as I tend to her every need. I’m desperately trying to make up for her being in the worst pain she has ever experienced. And even now ad I’m writing this, I’m making this about me. I have witnessed my daughter advocate for herself. She is so strong. I pray that her strength doesn’t waver, because she has a long road of recovery ahead of herself. She will require at least one more surgery and she still has to have her nose set, but not immediately, she has 635 miles to get home.

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