Tonight we were having dinner out. Sofie and Jane had been at their friends house for the afternoon and the rest of our family was going to meet up and we would all have dinner together. They had had a great afternoon, lots of fun, no injuries. Sam and I had only arrived 30 minutes earlier when we heard a cry from the back garden, "Mama, I have really hurt myself". A cry that was seriously lacking in dramatics and volume. More like a wounded animal, a deeper, guttural cry. On some level, I knew instantly that this was going to be bad, but I guess in my hope of hopes, I was trying to think it was a hurt, not an injury, trying to think positively.
It seems (though, still rather unclear,) that Jane had either jumped or fallen out of a window, about 2 metres. She landed on her feet and pitched forward onto her right arm. She came running to me, we assessed where she was hurt and then she laid down on a picnic rug with me while my friend grabbed a bag of ice. Jane seemed tired, maybe even hungry. I sat with her and tried to evaluate how bad it was, her arm ached, but she was fine everywhere else. After a short time I checked her arm and by then there was a large lump and swelling. I looked at Sam and said we were going to need to go, he gathered her up, left me and the rest of the children and headed to emergency.
It is now nearly eleven and I am waiting for them to return home. I have news, Jane has fractured her radius and about an hour ago they were waiting for her to have a cast put on. (Ever noticed how many children have casts on in the summer?) You know, we as parents try, we try to protect our children from danger. We stop them as they try to sneak a bottle of dish liquid out to the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath, we teach them to look both ways before crossing the road, but in those instances where we just sit back, enjoy a glass of wine with some friends, these things can happen. We can't protect them all the time, and really, life happens, you just go with it. The important thing is to just be there for them if you can when these things happen. Let them know you love them, let them know things happen, we try to be safe, make safe choices, but we can't prepare for everything.
Jane's arm will heal and we will learn from this. And if there is one thing I have learned for certain, go with your gut, it generally won't steer you wrong.