Gym Girl’s screams took Adventure Guy immediately away from my side as he ran toward her down the beach. I couldn’t imagine what could have happened in the few moments when she’d run ahead of us on our walk home from dinner. Had she stepped on glass? Twisted her ankle?
In a few moments I reached her, followed by two security guards from the nearest resort who had also heard her cries, and found her bleeding from the head and leg–still crying in pain. My brave girl who doesn’t blink at the aches and pains she encounters often at the gym, who laughs at her sister’s fear of needles and shots.
She’d realized she’d gotten too far ahead of us. I’d warned her not to go past the lighted portion of the beach in front of the resort without us. As she whirled around she caught herself on a barbed wire fence–one we’ve all walked by several times this trip without even noticing. It caught her across the leg, on her side right under her bra line, and in two places on her head.
The guards wanted us to return to the place where we’d had dinner, but we determined she wasn’t hurt too badly and wanted to get back to our condo. Adventure Guy ran ahead to get first aid supplies while I tried to comfort Gym Girl. I knew how scared she was because she let me hold her hand all the way back, something she’d normally deem as too babyish.
As we walked I mentally reviewed her immunization history, relieved to realize that she is well in the ten-year time period for tetanus. I’d also checked the fence and was pleased to see it wasn’t rusty. I’m cringing just at the thought of that. Because the deepest cut in this situation wasn’t to Gym Girl but to my heart. There is nothing worse than hearing the screams of your child in pain, knowing that you failed to protect her. Why didn’t I tell her “No,” instead of just, “Don’t go too far without us,” when she’d wanted to run ahead?
By the time we arrived at our place, Adventure Guy had hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin plus the two women who own this development. We cleaned up Gym Girl, and thankfully, only one of the places is much more than a surface scrape. Even that one should heal without much intervention. We’re just keeping it clean. The owners warned us it was best not to try to cover it in this humid climate.
And once we had Gym Girl cleaned up and settled in to watch a movie, my own reaction to stress set in. The condo must be cleaned! Dishes must be done. The pit that passes as the girls’ room here must be picked up. Why is it that we women so often respond to situations of need with such a drive to put things in their places? In this case, I know that I felt helpless to fix the situation Gym Girl found her self in, so I worked to bring order to what I could control.
Tomorrow is our last full day here. I’ll admit this event put a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm. We’ll have to see what Gym Girl is up to tomorrow. Our plans are to go snorkeling again if the wind levels cooperate. Now, we’ll add if Gym Girl’s leg looks okay to that as well.
This wasn’t at all the post I’d planned for this evening. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll be back to our usual happy vacation programming.