On the day of the cold foot incident, my two boys, especially my eldest, really stepped up to the plate. Daddy was away, making an already challenging situation even more challenging, and somehow my eldest stepped seamlessly into the role. He showed a level of maturity and understanding I have rarely seen in him, coupled with genuine care for the sister he always claims to dislike.
Once the doctor had referred us to the paediatric assessment unit at Gloucester Royal Hospital, my first task was to find someone to look after the boys. Not a problem when your parents and sister both live round the corner. But they had all gone AWOL. This literally never happens. There was no answer from any of their landlines or mobiles. So I tried the one friend in the village who can be relied on to help out at short notice. But she didn’t answer her phone. And we still hadn’t let Daddy know what was happening. Because he wasn’t answering either.
As I drove to the hospital, suddenly everyone rang back. First my friend, then my sister and husband rang at the same time – my sister calling my phone and my husband calling my son’s. And my son dealt with all the calls and explained the situation.
While my daughter was being checked over, my son rang Daddy and kept him updated. He also rang my mum and dad to arrange for them to pick him and his brother up. We couldn’t find the house keys, so he took my bag to look for them and promised to return it. What I didn’t know was that the keys weren’t in my bag, they were in the car and he’d had to walk right the way to the car to get them out. He left his brother waiting by the entrance to the hospital for my parents and, knowing I don’t like his brother to be left on his own, he lent him his own phone so he could stay in touch with me. By the time he came to return my bag, the main hospital doors had been locked and he had to navigate his way through the out-of-hours entrance to make sure I had my bag back.
He was helpful, organised and caring, making sure his brother was safe and making sure I got my bag back before they left.
After her stressful evening, my daughter fell asleep in front of the TV. I wasn’t sure I would manage to carry her to her own bed, so thought I would just carry her to mine. While I was brushing my teeth and deliberating my course of action, my eldest arrived, bringing her duvet so she could sleep comfily on the settee. I was astounded that he would do something like that without being asked. When I told him I was probably going to carry her to my bed, he insisted he would do it. I suspect he found it harder than I would have done, but my caring son lifted his little sister up and carried her to bed.
It had been a stressful evening, at the end of a very tough week, but it brought out the very best in my son.