Baby Blue Eyes started fussing. I looked over to see that his finger was stuck in the missing bolt-hole. I reached over to help him pull it out.
The inner mechanisms of the teeter-totter had crushed my little boy's finger to the point where the tip was just barely hanging on.
For the next several minutes I didn't pay attention to anything else as I clutched my whimpering baby to me, blood dripping on the sidewalk, and dialed 911. While the operator took what felt like an eternity to patch me through to the fire station, I staunched Baby Blue Eyes' blood with a diaper and tried not to lose it. As soon as the ambulance was on its way, I called Mr. Brown Eyes and told him to come RIGHT NOW.
Mr. Brown Eyes raced to the park from the store a couple of blocks away. He gathered Blue-Eyed Baby into his arms and rode with him in the ambulance to the hospital.
That's when I turned to my other three children, all crying quietly on top of the jungle gym.
At that moment, it didn't matter how many toys their baby brother had stolen from them or how unfair it was that I took his side every time he cried. Their little tear-stained faces told me how much they loved him and how worried about him they were.
I held them close and we cried together. They said prayer after prayer that Baby Blue Eyes would be ok, and they spent the afternoon at their aunt's house making get-well cards for him.
They were as relieved as I was when Baby Blue Eyes came home that night, freshly stitched-up and already back to his silly, spunky self. For the next two months he wore a sock on his hand to keep him from pulling his bandage off.
I wish I could say that since that day they have treated each other with greater kindness and patience, but they're still kids. They have many years to find new things to fight about before they realize they can be each others' best friends.
But I know, when it really comes down to it, that they care about each other.
And as long as I remember that, their spats and arguments and "I'm never playing with you again" threats don't bother me as much.
Sibling love outlasts all that.
Especially when your little brother has super-powers in his finger.
It could happen,
The Brown-Eyed Girl