I don’t know how it happened, but in the process of raising three boys, somehow, we only ended up in the emergency room twice seeking stitches, once each for child #2 and #3. I could be wrong. My memory fails me as frequently as Sonic changes its menu. But I don’t think our #1 child ever had stitches in an ER. He is the only one who rode in an ambulance after a near-death experience, but no stitches. (As it turned out, what looked like a deadly sledding accident wasn’t nearly as bad as all that.)
Was it good-parenting practices? Did we cover them in bubble wrap? Maybe they never stepped outside or made a wrong move. We were homeschoolers, after all. Ha! Maybe it was because their dad was a nurse and didn’t feel a need for emergency intervention until body parts were pretty much falling off. Child #3’s injury was a pinky, and he was small, so it only needed one stitch because that’s all it could hold. Child #2’s injury was a little worse. On the phone call with the emergency room, Dr. Dad asked what plastic surgeon was on call. Before you get worried, it was an elbow, and there just wasn’t much skin left.
The boys didn’t make it easy. I’ve blogged about the William Tell reenactment using an onion, bb gun, and bird feeder (in lieu of #2’s head). If it doesn’t ring a bell, it’s worth scrolling through my archives. There were baseballs and bats, hockey sticks, pucks, and balls landing on body parts not covered by PPE (not the COVID kind), spills on granite rocks too numerous to count, roller blades, boogie boards, bikes, projectile toys and sports equipment, even (dare I say) lawn darts. How they survived childhood is anybody’s guess. Then they got older and started driving and using axes and chainsaws and power tools, but still no ER visits. How could this be?
I don’t believe in luck or coincidence. So those were ruled out. I know my boys were not excessively careful. So, that’s out. I’m sure God had plans for them which required them to live, but a few stitches now and then wouldn’t have changed those plans. So what was it?
Finishing up a class with Dr. Derek Thomas, I think I may have an answer. Guardian angels, maybe more than one per child. He was commenting on how God assigns “guardians” to us to bring us “all the way to glory.” What a comforting thought. I have joked in the past that some of us need the really big, brawny angels to keep us from harm. Some of us need more than one. I don’t know exactly how it works, but I am glad God sends them.
Our boys have made it to adulthood. Number 1 is a teacher, #2 is a pastor, #3 is a surgical technician. They are all trained to help people in different ways. We are about to embark on a family vacation. We may need to employ all their skills with all six grandchildren together. I hope #3 can just relax, but should we need him, I’ve heard good things about his suturing skills. Maybe we can still avoid the ER. And I am also confident that same band of guardians is still on duty, along with another squad, maybe a platoon, either way, we’re in good hands, granite rocks and all.
“He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:10-11 ESV)