Posts Tagged ‘Devon’


While the eldest children are making pumpkin pie in the kitchen…

Devon (14)- “WHAT! WHY are you biting my sleeve?”

Olivia (11)- *laughs hysterically* “I don’t know!”

Devon- “You can’t just go around biting other peoples sleeves!”

Olivia- “Well, you can’t just go around biting other peoples wrists!”

Devon- “I don’t.”

Slightly maniacal laughter from both follows

Mom- (from the other room) “Have you two been drinking?”


On Peanuts

Devon is watching a movie and asks for popcorn, being unwilling to stand around making popcorn for 20 minutes I instead grab a bag of peanuts that has been languishing in his bedroom and give him that. As I turn to head back upstairs and continue to stare unproductively at a psychology essay, he asks me if he could have a bowl.

“A bowl? Can’t you just eat them out of the bag?”

“No, they taste…too compressed like that.”

“Compressed? What does that mean?

“You know, like they’re all shouting, “LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!“”

worry, strife and a really uncomfortable bed

We all know how suddenly things happen, lives change. Very often it is the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell’s ingenious invention, that is the harbinger of bad news. Nearly two weeks ago at a few minutes to 2:00, I received a telephone call. I’d been out that day, escorting my youngest sons class on a trip to the library, the walking and the keeping a close eye on and entertaining 4 small children had left me feeling a bit drained and so I settled in to watch a bit of tv with the husband before getting back to my coursework. I had momentarily considered not answering the phone, it being all the way upstairs and me feeling so tired and comfortable on the couch. But, with three kids in three different schools the odds are always in favour of it being one of the schools. So, I rushed up the stairs and leapt on it. And I was right. It was a school. But, not phoning to ask me to collect an ill child (like today), or to bring in that £2 for that school lunch from 3 months ago (like yesterday) or even to schedule a meeting or ask about an after school club or any other mundane thing. No. It was the call you hope you never get from the school.

“Hello, Mrs. G?”
“This is Devon’s school. Could you come to the school please? There’s been an accident, we’ve called the ambulance and they’re on their way”

This is where you stop breathing. This is the split second where your life changes. The moment before you know for sure if your child, who was fit and well and happy and fed and dry and warm and loved only six hours ago when you kissed him goodbye and reminded him to put his best foot forward as he left for school, is alive or dead.

“We think he’s broken his leg.”

And, like that, you can breathe again. You promise to be right there. Rush downstairs, slip your sandals on, calmly tell your husband “It’s the school, they think he’s broken his leg, we need to go”, rush outside, jump in the car and spend the next 5 minutes swearing about the fact you had to send your kid to the school that takes twice the time to get to as the closer one.

the side entrance. Straight into the emergency dep't. and his own special room.

One torturously long walk across the school campus, 20 minutes trying to comfort a teenager alternating between screaming and sucking gas and air and a light and siren ambulance ride later, I was here. Pacing, worrying, not crying.

They didn't know where to take him at first. Is a tall 13 year old still a child?

His thigh had doubled in size, it was hugely swollen and oddly discoloured. But there was no wound, no blood, no bone sticking out. No one could say if it was broken or not, we just had to wait for the xray. We waited. They told me the femur is the biggest and strongest bone in the body, it’s pretty hard to break it, they said. Especially at school. It’s usually car crashes, they said.


Usually. Suddenly he was famous. The ambulance crew were back, they crowded around the xray to have a look, then Devon’s bed to more or less congratulate him on achieving a 71mph motorcycle crash injury.

Eventually Devon was taken to the adolescents ward and we spent the night. He was on a heavy dose of morphine and slept and threw up most of the night. The next day, four hours after he was scheduled, he went in for surgery. As I left him in the operating theatre, after telling him I loved him and watching the anaesthetic take hold, knocking him out cold, I finally started to cry. Leaving my child, unconscious, in a strange room, full of strange equipment with strangers who were going to slice his leg open and screw a metal plate to his bone while chatting about their day or their plans for the weekend, went against every maternal instinct I have and I wanted to scoop him up and just run far, far away. Logic dictates I wouldn’t have gotten very far, however what with him being almost a foot taller than I and weighing 50kgs of mostly muscle. Also, I probably would’ve brought him straight back anyway, once he’d been without his morphine long enough to start screaming again. So, I let myself be led out of the room, and the hospital to fetch my little ones from school, while they operated.

He was in surgery about 3 hours, and unconscious another 3 after that. It was a long night, waiting for him to come back to his room, and then to wake up.

out for the count

awake, but tired.

In total we stayed 5 nights. The nurses were lovely, but the parents bed was awful, the “parents” break room dreadful, and getting any useful information out of anyone was akin to breaking through the iron curtain with a heavy stick. I was grateful to get home.

Devon broke his femur, which was repaired using a metal plate and 5 screws. He’s not allowed to put any weight on the leg for 6 weeks, and is living in the living room, only occasionally getting off the couch with the use of crutches or a walker, due to the weight of the huge cast on his leg. He’s likely out of school for the remainder of the year, and no action has been taken against the pupil who threw himself at my son and broke his leg. It’s being called an “accident”, which I suppose is code for “no one wants to take responsibility or even apologize so you should just accept it and get over it”

My intention to “sue” the school for negligence is currently being treated as unreasonable and as if I’m just out for money.

Almost two weeks since the "accident", and still no apology from the boy who did it.

Halloween 2010

Halloween in Britain seems to be enjoying an upswing in popularity. Shops are realising its potential as a cash cow and the costumes, decorations and candy are in full supply. In fact our local supermarket went all out with the halloween aisle and dear Rafe just had to spend a few minutes in it every time we went there.  The little ones enjoyed a windfall of candy, about double what they received last year, covering more or less the same amount of ground. Having said that, it is still very different here. Trick or treating is a quiet affair, bar the occasional bang of fireworks in the distance. You may perhaps pass one or two fellow trick or treaters on your travels, then the street is quite once again. Most houses are dark and on a street of about 30 houses,  perhaps 5 would be handing out candy.

The greatest joy I get from halloween in Britain is when my costumed kids knock on a door of a house who has not thought to buy candy for trick or treaters, usually older people. Frequently, these lovely people invite the kids in to show off their costumes, coo admiringly and drop some silver coins into their buckets, or whatever treats they can rustle up.

It is not the unexpected treat of money which makes these stops the highlight for me, it is the way in which the children are welcomed into the lives of these people for a brief moment, like a warm light is shone down onto them. They leave these houses with an extra bounce in their step, eager to say something about the occupants, and a little bit of that light stays with them as they make their way down the road.   The best of these stops last night resulted in a lovely couple scouring for a treat (they always hush me when I say it is not necessary) and coming up with a pile of soccer (football) trading cards for little Rafe. The man put the pile into Rafes bucket and Rafe said “Thankyouhappyhawoween!” before running back to me. Off we went. A few moments later the same man came chasing after us, explaining he’d dropped their bus pass into Rafes buckets with the trading cards, by mistake. And there it was, under the thick pile of trading cards mixed with candy.   I think this shows how people are so willing to go above and beyond just reaching into a bowl of candy next to the door, and turning out the light when it’s gone- to actually giving a part of their life, just for the sake of the look of joy on a 4 year olds face.  I definitely won’t forget that.

Unfortunately we also experienced the other side of British Halloween this year, involving stolen pumpkins and a brick through the window. Very unsettling, to say the least.

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