Thursday, July 31, 2008

his face

I got a call from the camp today. I called and asked if he was okay and if he had ever received the box of candy we sent. I kept wanting to call before this, but after last year, I was reluctant to since the other camp lied to me anyway, and I assumed that this camp would as well. After all, it's not like they have any legal obligation to tell the truth or even give a shit if he is really okay.

Seriously, in Ontario, we have regulations for the people who care for our kids in schools and daycares and just about every other place----but not camps, not even sleepaway camps.

So I should hardly be surprised to find out that today he got into an accident on the trampoline, and his knee connected with his eyebrow. (Don't ask me how, it seems impossible to me as well.) He split open his eyebrow and bled everywhere. He needed two stitches, and the camp doctor put them in.

He is supposedly fine---but how can I be sure if I am not there to see? He could be dying for all I know and they have no obligation to tell me shit. Plus I am unhappy that they stitched him instead of gluing him and now he will have a scar. Long story short---because of all of Mac's mishaps I know the the current best practice is to glue cuts together with a special sterile superglue instead of stitching unless it's on a stress point, like a knee or an elbow.

And Mr.Cotta does not understand why I am upset. He thinks it's no big deal. He actually just went out and left me all alone worried and freaked out.

And he wonders why I hate sleepaway camp so utterly totally and completely? Does he even know me, or understand me at all?

And the joke is that this camp is supposed to be an excellent one, the type that caters to concerned parents who actually like their children, as opposed to the super cold WASP detached parenting camp we sent him to last year.

His face is permanently scarred now. My baby's face will never be the same, and all because of some stupid camp.


  1. First, let me be clear that I am not discounting your feelings about this at all. You are his mother and it is completely natural, in fact it is your job to worry about your son's well being. My oldest is away at camp this week and I would certainly not want to get a call hearing he needed stitches.

    That said though... I do think you need to try to see this as a great opportunity for a Tale of Boyhood that all boys need. Boys need adventure. They need to have scrapes and near misses. They need to have scars and stories to go along with those scars. They are proud of those scars and it gives them credibility among their peers. Silly? Maybe. But that has been my experience thus far raising two boys and it is one weird "boy thing" that my husband has helped me to understand. Try to see this new scar on your son's face as the badge of honor and bravery that he will probably see it as. Or, at least pretend like you do. :) (Sorry in advance for the unsolicited advice...)

    This is coming from the Mom whose ten year old recently had six stitches next to his eye after whacking his face on a Ping Pong Table. Yep, a Ping Pong injury. Now that's a story!

  2. Wow. You have my full sympathy. I cannot imagine a camp not calling to even notify you of the situation (when I worked as a Sunday school teacher we had to write a formal report every time a kid complained of stumping their toe - seriously. And the one time a kid actually needed stitches from a playground accident I took her to the ER to make sure she was ok, then told the doctors they would have to wait until her parents got there to give her any further care - this was in the pre-cell phone era so we just sat around the ER waiting until someone could locate her parents and send them over). I would definitely call back and try to get in touch with your son directly - just to make sure he's feeling ok (in his own words) and happy about staying at camp. I was really sick as sleep-away camp a couple of times (by the way, I loved getting away for a month) and it always made me feel better when my parents got through the bureaucracy of counselors to actually check in with me.

  3. I would be upset, too. I think mostly because I couldn't be there to help or comfort him. I would be upset because it happened and was taken care of without ME, his mother, who has nurtured and loved and cared for him all of his years. I would be upset because my son is growing up and as much I enjoy watching it happen, I don't like it one bit. But, that's just me.

    I agree with Lori in that your son now has a bloody story to recount to his friends. Boys are boys, needless to say. Hope his eyebrow does a good job of hiding the scar.

  4. Think of it this's a badge of honour that women will swoon over when he's a young man!! (don't you think that little scar on Harrison Ford's chin makes him just that little bit more manly!!?)

  5. I'm sorry Aurelia - I know you hate this and nothing will really be a comfort to you until he comes home.

    You know though, I gave myself a black eye with my own knee as a kid. And at daycare when I was around 8ish a kid's teeth connected with my forehead and I got stitches - no scar. Kids heal better than we do. Maybe it won't scar?

  6. Poor kid. Poor you. I completely sympathize.

    It probably won't help all that much, but as others have said, if there is a permanent mark, it might have a small silver lining.

    Lots of kids are, oddly enough, very proud of their scars. And it's not just boys. I have a scar next to my eyebrow from when some kid threw a rock at me in nursery school. I loved showing it to other kids and bragging about my stitches and how I almost got my eye knocked out.

  7. Poor you and poor boy.

    I'm like Niobe - I had a scar on my forehead which I was inordinantly proud of. My 8 year old self was just desperate to tell anyone around that I had to go to hospital for stiches and I bled everywhere. It completely vanished.

  8. My daughter is very much of this bent -- with her umpteen bloody noses and a nice gash in her knee, I'm sure I've just visited the tip of the iceberg. And it's not so much the permanent scarring I fear, it's the DEATH. So I hear you. And I try and walk a fine line between letting her explore and test the boundaries of her dangerous self, and being THAT mom who frets and wrings her hands and says "be careful" every other minute. Well, ok, most times, I'm very firmly on the latter part of that line.

    My brother managed to slice his eyebrow open twice, and get serious bangs on the head ALL in the same place. So he sort of has this permanent little egg on his right eyebrow, but we all know the stories to this day. The best was when he was also on vacation, sans parents, and sliced it open with a surfboard. Luckily, the people with him had the good sense to drag him immediately to a plastic surgeon instead of the ER, and he put in something on the order of 17 internal/external stitches and I couldn't tell 5 days later.

    You never know.