We got a call this morning from our son-in-law. Our daughter had some chest pain and to be safe he’d taken her to the hospital. Because it was last minute and unexpected–most emergencies are– he’d had to bring along our three-and-a-half-year-old grandson. “It looks like this is going to take awhile,” he said. “Do you think you could come pick Reggie* up and let him play at your house for a while?”
“We’ll be right there,” I said.
I wasn’t entirely surprised that my daughter was in emergency. She’d told me just an hour before that she wasn’t feeling well and that if her pain didn’t improve she might need to have it checked. I was relieved she was being looked at. As we drove to the hospital I tried not to let me imagination get too out of hand—tried not to think of the worst scenarios. I wondered how Reggie was reacting to all this.
Reggie seemed thoroughly happy when we came in to his mother’s room in emergency. “Look what I got!” he blurted out, lifting a little blue teddy bear. He was also gripping two packages of Lorna Doone cookies. When he tried to grab his drink which he pointed out had a lid and straw, a package of cookies fell. I picked it up and convinced him to let me hold his drink as well. “Don’t worry, I’ll give it back,” I said.
“He’s pretty excited about all his loot,” my daughter laughed. But then she grew more serious and caught me up on what was happening. Apparently the doctor had scheduled a CT Scan to check for a blood clot. The nurse had drawn some blood as well to see if certain enzymes were present that would indicate heart problems. “They’re not sure what’s going on with me,” she said.
I tried not to look worried as I wished her luck. “Okay, let’s go Reggie!” I said then.
Reggie burst out the door of the room and seemed happy to be with me, to go see his grandpa, and to come visit with us for a while. In the car, he seemed more concerned about the fact that his cookie packages had fallen from his lap than he did about his mother back at the hospital. That was fine with me. I didn’t want him to be upset.
For the next few hours we did our best to keep our grandson happy. We’d just bought the DVD Frozen and immediately put that in the machine. We fed him, of course, scrambled eggs with cheese, some grapes, and toast with spray butter—the only kind of butter he likes. We read books; he jumped on the tramp; and he played a game or two on the Ipad. He even took some pictures of the cat. (He knows more about the Ipad than we do.)
Once in a while I looked at the phone, wondering if I dared call my son-in law. I was concerned about what was happening and what they were finding out. I’d called my other kids earlier to ask them to be praying. Finally my son-in-law called. “They haven’t found anything,” he said. “It looks like she’s okay for now. They want her to get some further testing this week, but she can come home as soon as the doctor reviews everything with her.”
I expressed my relief, and then we made arrangements to pick up my daughter at the hospital. We would take her and Reggie home so that our son-in-law could make a couple of work calls. Ten minutes later we were back at the hospital. “‘l’ll go in and get your mom,” I told Reggie. “Why don’t you stay here with Grandpa.”
“I want to go with you,” he said.
“Okay.” He followed me in, but still didn’t show much emotion when we got to my daughter’s room. “Can I have more cookies,” he asked.
It wasn’t until we were all settled back in the van that my grandson surprised me. “Mommy,” I heard him say from his booster seat in the back. “I was worried about you. I love you very much.”
My eyes widened. Wow. Interesting. We’d tried to numb him, keep him occupied, keep him happy, and he’d seemed completely oblivious to anything else. But apparently even a three-and-a-half-year-old’s emotions run deep. He’d actually been much more concerned about his mother than we’d realized. We human beings are complicated and sometimes hard to read—even very young and small human beings.