...Except for me.
Did you know that there are such things as tonsil stones? Yup. They’re white and gross and stink to high heavens, and like to live it up in the pits and crevices of your teenaged son’s infected throat. And then he has two choices: either he picks them out of his throat himself, every day of his life, or has a surgeon do it for him permanently.
We chose the latter. Thus, a tonsillectomy was scheduled.
Of course, everybody we mentioned this to had a horror story. Not one person had a joyful experience, or knew of anyone who hadn’t answered the door to Death, and slammed it closed, just in time.
“I knew a girl that went riding her four wheeler, like a week after her surgery, and nearly bled to death out on the desert terrain.”
“I knew a guy who died a couple of days later. He just told his wife he didn’t feel well and had to lie down, and bam. Dead.”
Even I joined in, whispering ominously, “I remember a girl who had her tonsils out right before she got married. And then the night before her wedding, she started to hemorrhage with the beat of her heart.” Followed by a thumb drag across my neck and cryptic nod.
But in the end, we dismissed all of the warnings with a wave of our hand and a mocking eyeball roll, because we knew we were different.
Day 1—FANTASTIC! Hardly even noticed he’d had surgery.
Day 2—Even better than day one! Keepin’ up on the pain killers and life is a bowl of ice cream.
Day 3—Whoa. Ouch. Little bit of blood.
Day 4—FULL BLOWN HEMORRHAGING AND CLOT THE SIZE OF A SOFTBALL RESTRICTING AIRFLOW! RUSH TO THE ER, GET DOCTOR OUT OF SURGERY AND CHEMICAL CAUTERIZATION FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR!
As we sat there in the emergency room, watching the surgeon pull chunks of coagulated blood out of our son’s throat, we had to face the reality: Seems we are not different. As much as we’d like to think we’re the exception, about 99% of the time, we’re the rule.
This made me think of some other times I’ve thought I was immune.
“I’m pretty sure I can eat a five pound bag of Hot Tamales (every day of my life) and look good in a swimming suit.”
“I do my best work under pressure.”
“If I ignore the problem, it will solve itself.”
Turns out the actual real world application of eating Hot Tamales is your gut gets fat. And so does your back and your bum and your chins and your earlobes. Then you become a liability to that lycra, and the swimsuit would rather not be seen with you.
Also, let’s be honest—NOBODY does their best work under pressure...except for mothers giving birth and coal. And coal is not a person.
Then that last one about ignoring the problem, expecting it to go away? Yeah, no. It doesn’t. Like a blemish turns to a boil, it gets bigger and more devastating. Recently, I had an impression that my child, who had just arrived home, had been out doing something he was warned not to do. So I laid in bed and argued with myself.
“Stupid kid. I’m not going to talk to him. He knows it’s wrong. And he’s grown. And he’s stupid. Stupid kid.”
“Sorry, but you have to. You’re his mom. Moms have to save stupid kids from themselves until they can find a wife to pawn him off on. Just save us the trouble and get up.”
Back and forth we went, until finally, I dragged my weary head out of bed and confronted the stupid kid. And just like I thought, he WAS doing something wrong, but he was convinced he was the exception, not the rule, so no harm would come to him. Sound familiar? Fortunately, his father and I popped that zit before it got out of hand, and I just know he’ll thank us...later on.
Well, anyway, I guess we’d all rather make the rules than follow them, bless our hearts. And sure, maybe 99% of the time we are the rule, but there’s always that elusive 1% roaming around out there...and I think it has my name on it.