My mom, dad, two sisters, brother, and brother in law were here with us for Christmas. Everyone except Mom and Dad decided to go sledding during the afternoon of Christmas day. We didn't want to drive very far, so we went to a hill in a nearby neighborhood. We parked on the south side of the hill (much of the snow had melted off this side) and trekked to the top to sled down the north side that was still covered in snow. A few people went down and we were having a pleasant time. Nicholas was laying on his stomach getting pulled up the hill after a fun ride down. When he reached the top, somehow he had just enough momentum to start down the other side of the hill, back toward the road. No one expected it...we all just stood there and watched him head down. We hadn't even thought about the obstacles on that side of the hill, so we were all chuckling, thinking it would be a fun little ride. There was also so much grass, it didn't seem like he would even go very far. Boy were we wrong.
After the initial slow take-off, he gained speed fast and was heading head-first, straight for a tree. Somehow, the sled turned and he swung wide, well away from the tree. I breathed a sigh of relief, because there seemed to be no other obstacles ahead of him besides the deserted road, but he just kept turning in a slow arc and slammed right into a metal multiple family mailbox.
I don't even want to describe the thoughts and feelings I had. I feared the worst. He was going so fast. But we were blessed, and he was fine. He didn't loose consciousness, he was just bleeding...a lot. Luckily we had taken two cars, so Jackson, my brother, and I jumped into the van with Nicholas and my sisters and brother in law took the other kids home. Our doctor's office has an afterhours care facility called "Docs on call." I REALLY didn't want to go to the emergency room for a varitey of reasons, so we went there hoping they could treat him. They led us directly to a room, with no wait and took great care of Nicholas. I had a very hard time seeing him bleeding and in pain. I had to keep leaving the room to put my head between my knees. He got 10 stitches.
Here are a few pictures that day after we got home.
And this is in the doctor's office just before they removed the stitches. I am amazed how fast such a deep, large gash healed.
So I am thankful...thankful that Nicholas is okay. Thankful for skilled doctors and excellent facilities. Thankful that Nicholas didn't hit the tree. Thankful that he was wearing a thick snow cap. Thankful that my family was with us and I didn't have to take all the kids with me. I am actually also thankful for this experience. I have learned multiple things from it. I discovered a new depth of love for my children. I learned how quickly accidents happen. I better understand that our Heavenly Father is in control. I saw what a brave, kind, forgiving, sweet sweet boy I am blessed to have in my home. I love him so much I could burst.