Monday, May 2, 2016

This One Goes Out to All You Mothers...

WARNING: This blog post contains a picture of a real-life, disturbing-looking wound. The squeamish should exercise caution and/or go read another blog, maybe one about unicorns and/or fluffy kittehs and bunnehs, or similar.

Have I mentioned that my Senior-in-college son, Balthazar, plays guitar in a friend's band? He met the fellow up at school, but M (the friend) lives in the tri-state area. Anyway, M's a mover and shaker, and hustles to get them gigs, no matter how humble the venue (think unfinished basement of someone's house). Whatevs, folks gotta start somewhere, and I admire that will-play-for-beer/pot spirit.

They regularly gig during the academic year and on breaks. During the January break, Balthy advised me that the band was heading back up to school on a Thursday afternoon for a show, and then going on to New Haven for another performance that coming Saturday. I noted that a blizzard was expected over the weekend and urged caution, a notion promptly scoffed at by the spawn of my womb.

So I went to work on Wednesday and by the time I got home Balthy was already out with some friends. I knew he'd get back in the wee hours and, as it was a school-night for me, I wouldn't be able to see him till he returned from New Haven the following week. Such is life.

Well, the blizzard did hit, hard, and I nervously checked in with Balthy on Saturday. I was relieved to learn the Connecticut gig had been canceled. The Kid and his friends would be driving back from school on Sunday night. My anxiety level spiked again, as the parkway they'd take is hella curvy, poorly lit, and bound to be a snowy mess.

I spent Sunday in a state of useless hypervigilance, frequently sending up prayers that the kids all made it to their respective homes safely. When Balthazar's key turned in the lock around 7:30pm, I let out a whoosh of relief and thanked God for being so utterly groovy.

Balthazar joined me in my room, plopped on my bed and started chatting. He commented on how good my dinner, which was being kept in the oven so as to stay warm, smelled. In a fit of motherly relief and benevolence, I said he could have it. He thanked me, then gave me his weird, "Boy, are you gonna hate what I'm about to dish up" smile.

Me, on alert: What?

Balthy: I'm gonna show you something that's gonna freak you out. (He stood and his hands went to the waistline of his jeans.)

Me, enthusiastically: Didja get a tattoo?

Balthy, still with the shit-eating grin: Nah... (He pushed down the jeans and showed me the stuff of mothers' nightmares.)

Me, feeling the blood drain from my face: What's that?

Balthy: A dog bite.

Me, through numb lips: From what kind of dog?

Balthy: A big one.

Me: ...when?

Balthy: Wednesday night.

(My eyes shot to his face.) Me: Did you seek medical attention for this?

Balthy, grin widening impossibly: Nah, had to travel with the band the next day, remember? Been puttin' Neosporin on it, covering it with gauze and whatnot. The worst part is that the dog ruined the pair of skinny jeans that I'd just bought that day.

Me, miraculously refraining from throttling him: You're a fucking idiot.

Lest you think I exaggerate the horror that was the semi-healed dog-bite, here's a pic.

Balthy's dog-bite, four days after the event.
Yep, those are puncture wounds. From fangs.

The ruined skinny-jeans.

I made the little blighter eat (my dinner!) while I got dressed and after he finished we slogged our way through the snow-packed streets to the emergency room of the hospital right around the block (thank God for small mercies).

I have to say, that was our quickest emergency room visit to date, as we were in and out in under an hour and I missed only about the first ten minutes of Downton Abbey (What? It was the final season!). At that point, there wasn't much to be done: the medical staff gave the wound a cursory inspection but, as it showed no sign of infection, asked if he was up to date with his tetanus booster, prescribed a course of antibiotics, and took down the dog-owner's contact info so the state health department could follow up and obtain proof that the dog (either a Rottweiler or a Pit Bull) was up to date on its shots.

(OK, there was one gratifying moment when the triage nurse asked when the bite happened and, upon learning it'd taken place FOUR DAYS PRIOR, looked up from her paperwork to sharply admonish Balthy, "It's Sunday!")

Anyway, Balthy has survived the bite (so far!) and, I hope, has learned NOT to let something like that go untreated for FOUR FUCKING DAYS. Also, I've learned that I need to go for my tetanus booster. Maybe y'all should consider it too, if it's been over ten years since you've had one.

The reason I dedicated this post to mothers is two-fold:

1. You all have been through this kind of terror-striking-incident with your own kids and, I'm sure, can so totally relate, and;

2. In honor of all us mothers, I'm making the e-Book version of my Greek-myth-based romance novel, THAT FATAL KISS, FREE for Mother's Day weekend 2016! Be sure to Facebook, Tweet, and otherwise share the hell out of this post to all and sundry and, if you'd like to pick up your own FREE copy, click here from Saturday, May 7 through Monday, May 9, 2016***!

***I think the times for Amazon's promotional events are Pacific times, so don't take any chances and snatch up your free copy on Mother's Day itself!***