With that sick feeling in my stomach, I organized my three kids, I grabbed all of our towels and, clutching the drug store paper bag, I led the kids as we trekked up the road to the main house. My mood was greatly subdued. We clomped up the stairs and I tossed the paper bag onto my sleeping bag and I pointed the kids directly to the showers with their soapy, muddy bathing suits on. We quickly hopped into the shower to rinse off. It was a bit crowded in there with the four of us and it took three pushes of the shower valve but we got most of the suds and grime off.
The kids scurried down the hall, dripping wet, and got changed for dinner. I left the four soggy bathing suits on our ‘clothes line’ in my room. I grabbed the paper bag full of goodies from town and brought them down to the health office. The kids ran relays up and down the hall while I restocked medicines, set out the ‘after dinner’ meds, started a new medication administration record for the antibiotic prescribed for Collin, and then sat back in my plastic chair and considered what to do with the pregnancy test. I decided to leave it in the brown bag and I stuffed it into the cabinet under the sink. Just as I did so, the dinner bell rang. My daughters and my son stomped along the hall, busted through the door and galumphed down the stairs. I marveled at their energy!
The staff was still setting up for dinner as the campers were lining up outside the dining hall. I set the kids up at the directors table. Bill, Father Brian, Barb, Yvonne and Shelby filed in from the deck and after greeting us got settled at the table. As the five kids struck up a conversation, Bill came around to chat with me.
“Whats the news on the trip into town Anne?” Bill as he crossed his arms.
“Well the worst news is that Zack’s arm is in a cast.”
The kids started to sing. I recognized the tune immediately. It was “A Whole New World” from the Disney movie Aladdin.
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling…” they sang.
“I saw that.” Bill nodded. “Good catch on your part!”
“I guess…but I feel very badly that I didn’t splint and immobilize it before I sent him in. I really didn’t think that it was broken though…” Lord did I feel like a dope!
“Well it’s in a cast now. Live and learn.” Bill shrugged. “And what about the rest of them?”
“Couple of sprains and some antibiotics. And “bull” called on the concussion.” Bill laughed.
“Well thanks for taking such great care of the kids Anne. You are doing a nice job. And I heard about the fishing hook too.” Bill patted me on the shoulder. “Nathan shared the experience at our staff meeting last night. I guess he was pretty impressed. The counselors seem to really like you.”
“A whole new world!
A new fantastic point of view…”
The kids continued to serenade us. They were really into the song now. I gave them a quick glance and looked back at Bill. I was taken aback by what he had said. Cuz…I kinda felt like a huge failure.
“Well…well thanks Bill, I appreciate that. I do really enjoy the campers and the counselors. I must say, it is a challenge, but I am really enjoying camp nursing. And I am learning so much.”
I felt some of that disappointment in myself begin to subside. What did I expect? I had never done this before! I was learning new things, just like all the campers for Pete’s sake. I would never make that mistake again, but I would likely make some others.
“I can open your eyes!
Take you wonder by wonder.
Over, sideways and under on a magic carpet ride!”
Granted, the singing was a bit pitchy, but the message was clear to me: every turn a surprise, a thrilling chase, a wondrous place for all of these campers, for the counselors, and indeed…for me too!
That’s when I looked up and saw Amanda coming out of the kitchen. She caught my eye, stopped, and nervously flipped her hair. I gave her a very subtle nod. She nodded back. Soon we would know.
“With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you”
Red-letter? I just hoped the letters didn’t spell out “PREGNANT”!