Adam and I wanted to make sure that everything was ready before they left.
Socks and shorts, check. T-shirts, check. Bug spray, check. We went through the list with the boys, to guarantee they were prepared for adventure.
The one thing we didn't want them to know about though, were the letters we had written the night before. The camp had a neat system that allowed letters to be dropped off, so you wouldn't have to worry about sending them in the mail. (very cool)
Going to camp is a big deal. My surgery was supposed to be scheduled for last week but I didn't want to miss this. I asked to change the surgery date to this week instead. Dropping the boys off for a week of camp and picking them up meant a lot to us. It's seeing them go through a right of passage of sorts.
It almost didn't matter.
As the six of us piled into the car, Adam grabbed the keys and looked over saying, "I just want to make one last check to make sure we have everything. Once the boys are at camp, they'll be out of contact so I don't want to forget anything." He then gestured like he was writing a note, letting me know he wanted to make sure the letters to the boys were packed. Adam was worried that if we mailed them, they wouldn't get to the kids on time.
He went back into the house and I stayed with the kids. We waited...and waited...until the door flew open and Adam's eyes were as wide as I've ever seen them.
His face looked strange and I thought he said, "I broke my ankle."
I smiled thinking he was joking and waved for him to come on.
"I BROKE MY ANKLE!"
The color began to leave his cheeks. I opened the car door and shot to him, then looked down. His left ankle was already swollen to an unnatural state.
Adam slid down to the floor and put his hands over his face. "Is it bad? Is the bone sticking out?"
"No the bone isn't sticking out but we need to go. Let's get to the Emergency Room."
Helping him hop to the passenger side, the kids began to clamor around to see.
"Guys, sit back down. We're going to the hospital."
Our five year old daughter got worried and whimpered, "Is daddy going to get a shot? His foot looks weird"
My head began to spin. What if it was broken? What if he needed to have surgery?
I grabbed my phone knowing that we'd be in the ER for awhile. The boy's friend that was going to camp, was the son of one of my best friends. I dialed her number and tried to keep it together.
"Yes! Are you guys getting ready to leave?"
"Not exactly. Would there be anyway the boys could go with you to camp? I need to run Adam to the hospital."
"WHAT?! What happened? What hospital? I'll come get them or meet you wherever you want! WHAT'S GOING ON?!"
I didn't even know what to say. I still didn't know what he had done. One minute he was running into the house - and the next, well.
I told Marti where we were going and she said she'd be there waiting.
Putting the car into reverse, I flew out of the garage and spun the car around Dukes of Hazard style.
Shooting a look towards Adam, I heard myself ask, "What happened?!"
Adam winced as I turned the corner. "I was in a hurry and ran down the stairs. I missed the last few steps to jump down to the bottom. I meant to turn right, but my ankle evidently decided to go in the opposite direction. I felt and heard it pop and the next thing I knew, I was down."
My stomach turned as I thought of the pain, but I tried to keep a straight face.
As soon as we found a spot in the hospital parking lot, sure enough, Marti was there waiting. She ran up to the car with a wheelchair and looked down at his ankle. It was getting bigger.
Marti rushed him in and I stayed with the kids. When she came back out, we hugged. It was the first chance I had to take a second to think.
I whispered, "I can't cry. The kids can't see me cry, so I have to keep it together. I don't want them to worry when they go off to camp."
"I know. It's going to be okay." Marti gave me a tighter squeeze and said a prayer.
We pulled everything from the back of our car that was packed for camp and loaded it into hers.
Hugging the two boys, I put on the strongest front possible and told them what a great time they were going to have.
"But what about Dad?"
"Dad will be fine guys. Don't you worry a thing. He's strong and tough. He'll be okay. You boys just go have fun, okay?"
I hugged them one last time and fought back the tears. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be. There wasn't any time though.
Marti piled the boys in her car and I waved bye. Taking the little hands of our younger two, we three ran into the hospital.
A nice woman at the front desk calmly said, "Your husband is waiting in room 17."
I whispered "Thank you," and shot through the doors.
Finding Adam, I rambled, "What do the x-rays say? Is it broken? Are you okay?"
Adam shook his head. "They haven't done any x-rays yet. I'm still waiting."
Adam's smile grew a mile wide. "Let's go see the boys."
"WHAT?! They're already gone! Marti took them."
"I know. I still want to go though. I'll feel better knowing they're okay and that they're not wondering what happened."
I called Marti. She said she and her husband were still on their way to the camp. She smiled and said they were all having fun.
Explaining the latest, I told her that we would be following behind.
I love Adam for the dad that he is. We did eventually make it to the camp and he hopped on his crutches until we found the boys by the lake.
The bad part was, Adam's ankle got to be as ugly as it could be.
Needless to say, we're going to look like a Motley crew going to the hospital this week for surgery. Me holding my back and Adam gimping along. I'll be thankful for the day when we're all put back together.
For now though...I'm glad the boys are home and they had a good time at camp. Next year though, I think we'll just use the mail.
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