I have always thought that I would have made a great detective. I think I have an astute attention to detail. I notice things often that others don't notice. I can tell almost immediately upon walking into a familiar space when something is different or has changed. I have in the past described John's activities at home just by looking around at what was different from when I left the house in the morning.
So when the nurse at school called me to tell me about Jack's injury, and I told her I was with him at school and would come by and talk to her, I was surprised when she said, "So you must have seen it."
"Seen what?" I asked.
"The huge lump on his forehead. It's very hard to miss."
I hadn't noticed anything wrong with him, and as I stood in the hall outside of his class talking to the nurse on my cell phone and berating myself quietly for being a bad mother, I wondered why he hadn't told me he was hurt.
"You need to stop by on your way out so we can talk about watching for warning signs of a concussion."
I agreed, and apologized for being a lame mother that doesn't notice a huge lump indicating my child had experienced a potentially concussion-inducing injury.
I went back into Jack's room and made a bee-line for him and his injured head. I started moving his hair around to see the injury. "Mom, gosh, stop it! What are you doing?" He was behaving like a normal 8-year old being embarrassed by his mother in front of his class. "Why didn't you tell me you got hurt?" "Because I didn't."
So I called the nurse back. She was adamant that it was Jack. I asked Jack's teacher, who had taken the injured boy to the nurse, and she said that it wasn't Jack. The nurse was surprised and couldn't figure out what had happened. She either wrote the injured boy's name down incorrectly or the injured boy gave her my son's name for some reason. Jack had not been hurt, and I hadn't failed to notice the goose-egg on his head that the nurse made me feel so bad about not seeing. I felt vindicated.
So a couple of days ago Luke said to me, "I think you need to give me some medicine. Haven't you noticed I've been coughing since Thursday?" I hadn't really noticed. Last night, he complained about not feeling good, but I thought it was just his cold and cough and him trying to get out of school. At bedtime I took his temperature. It was 103. He vomited all night.
So I guess I'm not that observant after all.