Everything’s bigger in Texas, even the empathy

“Good morning my little monkeys.”  

We were at Gramps and Grammy’s house in Texas for the holidays and we had managed to not completely ransack the house – yet.  True, we had a stellar game of tag through a pile of dog poop but we learned not to carry it into the house like we did last year with the new game: run through glitter – naked.  Needless to say, my in laws are fantastic sports.

This particular morning we thought we would keep them entertained with a trip to the Frisco library; it is perfect for rambunctious kids.  We managed to get through our first obstacle successfully, using the revolving door without losing a child or breaking it. Yes, we caused it to shake and left our face implants on the glass, but it is still usable for the other patrons.  Obstacle two: my daughter was too old for the very cool interactive pirate ship playground, but she happily played with Grammy while I took the twin tornadoes in. Phew. All was quiet.

Until the baby of the family decided he wanted to qualify for the Olympics.  He had previously demonstrated his desire to run, once into oncoming traffic, but we thought it had been curtailed.  Unfortunately, the “everything is bigger in Texas” motto also refers to the amount of space to run rampant at the public library and off he went.

During lap one, I remained fairly cool.  I left the other kids with my mother in law and patiently trotted after him.  “Come back honey.”

Lap two was more of the paranoid phase.   Did he run into the elevator?

Lap three, Man, I should start a yoga class. I’m getting a little sore.   

Last four,  We are so getting kicked out.  

Until finally, I heard the boom of what could only be one thing: a  head into a blunt object. Instant wailing.

I turned the corner and found a young mother holding him.  “He ran into the corner of the chair. I think his nose is bleeding.”

He uncurled himself from this kind stranger and exposed a crime scene worth of blood.  

Of course he would be fine. A typical nose bleed doesn’t take that long to stop but of course, I do not have typical children.  This one has a condition called ITP which creates excessive bleeding and bruising. The lack of platelets in his body mean three things: I am now an expert on blood, he will never play professional hockey, and this nosebleed will be a while.

The blood was everywhere: the floor, the chair, my clothes, his face, the lollipop he stole from my backpack.  It was a splatter paint of stress. We all worked together: Grammy got the wipes, his twin held his hand, I applied pressure, and my daughter ran to the librarian to get one solitary tissue.  Thanks, honey.

The librarian, who had clearly noticed us since our arrival, (I mean how could you miss us) called behind her.  “You can have more than one. It looks like you might need it.”

“Okay.” She went back and got two.

As we all huddled together, the librarian approached us with the entire box of tissues.  “Do you need anything? Will he be okay?”

I bashfully assured her we just needed a bit of time and would be leaving shortly.  Everyone stayed exceptionally calm. Thank goodness my mother in law always knows what to do in an emergency and I didn’t have to manage this mayhem alone.

When the excitement subsided, we dragged ourselves towards the exit. We lacked a bit of the luster we had when we first entered.  Piles of bloodsoaked backpacks, coats, and children really make a statement.

The librarian tenderly spoke.  “Excuse me, miss. I think you should take this box of tissues. It’s just a box of tissues but I really think you need it more than we do.”  She paused and added sheepishly, “I also hope your day gets a bit better. Enjoy your time with your children.”

Her words were so gentle.  Maybe it was the Southern accent, but I felt like if it was acceptable, she would have just scooped me up and held me. It was just a box of one ply tissues but it was a truly kind gesture. I could feel her empathy and frankly, really appreciated it.

If you ever find yourself in the Frisco area, I recommend stopping by the 2nd floor of the library.  There will you find one of the kindest strangers I have ever met, and I am confident she will share her tissues with you, even if you don’t leave a pool of blood near the Fiction section.  

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