Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween part one and Irony with a capital I

A local dance company puts on a production of Thriller every year, which is so popular that many people go annually. When I was at the Shriner's hospital for a cast checkup/OT session with Hannah, I overheard that the professional performance company would be putting on a brief version of Thriller for families, patients and employees of the hospital. I wasn't sure Hannah could appreciate zombies, mummies, and chainsaw wielding maniacs, but since Claire wants to be a dancer when she grows up, I thought she could look past the scores and head straight to the dancing, so in my quest to be uber super mom, I dropped Hannah back to day care and pinched Claire for a surprise mommy/daughter bonding experience, even though I was between court calendars, and even though the bit preschool costume parade was to follow later in the day, giving me plenty of places to be inadequate and run late. We loved it. I was stunned by my ability to get this shot, given the wretched delay on my wee small digital camera.

I did love the bride of Frankenstein number, although I think the joke was utterly lost on Claire.

Now I'd seen this performance the previous week on a mom's night out with the day care staff and parents, and I knew that sometimes they picked out audience members for a little participation. I'd been talking to this mom earlier while our respective therapists worked with our kids, my OT doing stuff with Hannah and a PT and orthotist working with her son, who had one leg considerably shorter than the other with a dangly turned foot. AFter a long discussion on hair color, the talk turned to our kids, and I learned that her son, not 9 or ten or so, had suffered his injuries in a lawnmower accident when he was two. Mom herself had been operating a tractor mower on their farm in Colorado, had just told all three children to stay away from her machine as she couldn't see them as she turned, and the boy ran up and got dragged under. Since they lived on a farm at the back of beyond, they drove in towards the coming ambulance, in their fastest vehicle, a Camaro they were restoring but which had no seat belts, at 160 m.p.h. while she held her sons intestines and tried to keep them on the inside and while the tourniquet on his leg was failing. They met the ambulance, he was airlifted to Denver, and has since made excellent progress, generally getting a new prosthetic leg every six months or so at Shriners. Our conversation was cut off by our therapists wanting our attention, and so when I came back after my kid swap, there she was with the two sons she brought, sitting dead center in the "big" room where the dance concert would be presented. I knew when the masked men with boxes containing knives and chainsaws came out, someone would be called on to participate and I hoped it would not be me, leaving little Claire on her own. In one of those twists of fate, that in the end seem inevitable, the dancers chose that mom to come sit on their boxes.

And then they proceeded to pretend to cut off her foot, while her son looked on, laughing himself silly.

Happy Halloween!


  1. When humor comes after something like that? I call that true healing--and a true miracle.

  2. I felt shaken after reading that. What things you see and live.

  3. Holy Crap. What a lucky little boy to have survived that.

    Love that he got to watch his mommy get her foot pretend cut off. So awesome.