I’m THAT dad.
The one who says, “rub some dirt on it. Walk it off. You’re fine. It’s just a scratch.” I never believe anything is anything. Everything is nothing …to me.
I don’t like to panic the kids. I like to get all the facts before I rush off to the emergency room. I know that some things feel worse at the time than they actually are. Injuries need to be addressed logically and calmly. That’s how dads do it. That’s how I do it.
But my wife, on the other hand, can FEEL when something isn’t right. She can hear something in the way one of my children is crying, that tells her something. It tells her something it doesn’t tell me.
Once, my daughter was given a certain drug for an ear infection. My wife knew nothing about the drug scientifically. But she kept saying, “THAT drug is not working. I know it. I can tell.”
This bothered me a great deal. Because I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember when my wife got a medical degree. With my daughter being non-verbal, she couldn’t tell us if her ear was feeling better or not. But somehow my wife could SENSE that she wasn’t getting better. I thought she was fine. But finally, on a Sunday, my wife dragged us both to the ER and forced a doctor to take another look at the ear in question. I thought the doctor was going to say, “Mom, rest easy. Everything is okay. She’s doing just fine.”
But instead what the doctor said was, “Mom …good call. This medication hasn’t been working. And the infection has gotten worse. We need to change medications.”
I’m not gonna lie …I was stunned.
This past weekend my son went to one of those bouncy places with his cousins. Apparently, on one epic jump, he landed the wrong way on his wrist. My father called to let us know he had hurt himself a little but that everything was okay. I was satisfied with the call. But my wife heard my son crying beyond my father’s voice and KNEW everything was, indeed, NOT okay. She heard something in his cry that bothered her …through the phone …in the background.
We had dinner guests over. But my wife excused herself and jumped in the car to go bring my son home. After she left, the guests asked me if I thought the damage was as bad as my wife thought it was. My answer was, “I can’t imagine that place would allow my son to leave with a broken arm. And I can’t imagine they wouldn’t know something serious if they saw it.” But I finished the sentence with, “but she needs to do what she needs to do. And we will see.”
My son came home, took and Advil, and went to bed. His wrist didn’t look that bad when he went to bed. I thought maybe he’d sprained it. And I HOPED my wife had been overly cautious. But when he woke up the next morning, his wrist was swollen and in pain. My wife jumped into action and rushed him to the ER, where they found that he had actually BROKEN his wrist. He came back home in a full cast.
And again, I marveled at my wife’s intuition with all of this. Left up to me, I shudder to think of what condition my children would constantly be in. But the mother “sense” is strong. They know stuff. They know when their children are in distress. Even if they didn’t give birth to the child, they still know.
Both my children are adopted. But my wife still has this strange, spiritual connection to them that I cannot comprehend. I love them with all my heart. I would lay down on train tracks for them without thinking twice about it. But I can’t look into their eyes and know they are scared. I can’t tell by the way they hold their head that they had an incident at school. I don’t hear the same thing in the tone of their voice that she does.
THIS is what mothers are all about. Moms know. They just do. You might think you’re fooling yours. But you’re not. She knows you’re in pain. She knows you’re having trouble. She knows you’re battling an addiction. She knows you’re lonely. She knows you’re unhappy. She knows you’re depressed. And that’s why she prays for you for seemingly no reason.
When she calls you and says, “I’ve been thinking about you,” don’t blow it off. Don’t just try to hurry and get off the line. She’s dialed in to you somehow …even if she’s driving you crazy in the process.
Mothers don’t just love us. They KNOW us. And they know us until the day we …or THEY …die.
So, do something nice for your mother today. She feels things about you all the time.
And SHE knows you’ve got a broken arm …even if YOU don’t.