Labyrinth, 5/20/10

You might have noticed that I was on a roll, posting nearly every day, and then suddenly I dropped off again. Life. Don’t talk to me about life.

Last Saturday, I was basking in the labyrinth and painting sketches of bodies and really getting somewhere when I got the Phone Call, the one no parent wants to hear: there’s been an accident. Grayson’s been hurt.

My son, my child, riding his bicycle down the Creeper Trail with his girlfriend, has taken a two-foot drop off the final trestle and gone straight over his handlebars into the gravel and cinder-covered track, landing squarely on his forehead and nose. Miraculously, he sustains no other injuries but to his face: no neck injuries, no skull injuries, no eyes or teeth, not even a concussion.

But it is enough: he has scraped off his forehead and a great deal of his nose. The plastic surgeon in Johnson City, TN, has a challenge to reassemble what’s left into something that will work. My son’s nose is now about a half inch shorter than it used to be.

I drive immediately to Tennessee. His mother flies from Boston, where she’d gone for a five-day conference. We deal. He’s hurting, but he’s fine. In terms of dealing, it’s all cosmetic. He knows that, we know that. And we try to be grateful. It is hard.

Short version timeline: Saturday–he falls, surgery. We head to Johnson City. Sunday–he continues to recuperate, stays overnight. Monday–he’s discharged, we take him to the hotel. Tuesday–we meet with the surgeon, who [OH MY GOD HE’S WONDERFUL] is pleased with his work and with the healing. I drive back to Newnan. Ginny and Grayson go to her parents’ house in Abindgon, VA, an hour away. Kristin returns to Greensboro. Wednesday–we all breathe. Thursday–today–he has his stitches out in Johnson City. The surgeon is very pleased that Grayson has feeling in his nose.

Now it’s just a matter of healing. We’re pretty sure that there’s more cosmetic surgery in our future. We don’t know where he’s going next. His sketchy post-graduation plans [YES, HE GRADUATED FROM GUILFORD COLLEGE THE PREVIOUS WEEKEND WITH A DOUBLE DEGREE IN GERMAN STUDIES AND POLITICAL SCIENCE AND I SHOULD HAVE BLOGGED ABOUT IT SO YOU COULD HAVE SHARED IN THE HALCYON PERFECTION OF THE WEEKEND] are now even sketchier.

And I am taking advantage of the beautiful weather to sit in my labyrinth, drink, paint, and meditate.

There’s too much going through my head to get it all down, and some of it I don’t want to share anyway.

A fresh bottle of Xtabentun, please. Isn’t it a good thing that I ordered a whole case of the stuff last month?

Here’s the thing. He’s an adult. He must decide what to do with his life, injured or otherwise. I cannot help him other than to provide some kind of health insurance. He has to figure out what it means that in one horrific moment he changed his life forever. I can’t. I can’t even face that decision. I can only be there to hand him a cup of water when he needs it or to be stolid for his sake. But inside, I’m a father who’s ready to lose it at any moment because my child’s life has been changed forever.

I have nothing else to say.

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