The phone rings. This is unusual, as most people use my mobile. This also usually means a frustrating conversation in pigeon English or mashed up German.
Its Missy M’s Kindergarten teacher. This cant be good. The only time she has called me, was when we miscommunicated the time Missy M was going to turn up one day, and I got the where-on-earth-is-your-daughter phone call (always fun). The teacher told me that Missy M had fallen and hit her head. She asked if I could come right now please?
Now its only 5 minutes before I usually leave the house to collect her. My first thoughts are starting to draw conclusions: why could they not wait 5 minutes for the usual pick up time? Surely I could interpret this as bad. If it is bad, how bad? Then I start to remember the two occasions when she has head-butted the pavement/ nearest solid object and been covered in blood. She still has two silver lightening scars and a ER trip to prove it. We are working on a Harry Potter’s daughter movie deal.
So all this is racing through my mind as I pull my boots on to go out of the door. Then I realise that the truth: I know nothing. I have no idea what happen. I can only walk as fast as I can walk to get there (eco-chic with no car). When I arrive, I can see for myself and take action if required. That is all I can do. My choice is to arrive stressed out and hysterical, or calm. My choice. Stressed will make fast action more difficult. So I walk (fast), and focus on the walking, not the thought trips into the past or future.
Turns out Missy M has an impressive golf ball lump on her forehead and was blood-free. Her teacher was clearly scared senseless. She needed her mummy (the calm and cuddly one), her teddy (grabbed as I flew out the door), and later, lashings of ice-cream wrapped up in a duvet (the child, not the ice cream).
In an emergency, what part of the emergency is “now this is the time to freak out” and which is the time to stay calm? Is it a series of thoughts that create that feeling, and does that serve you if there is actually a problem?
(and dear friends and family, this took place a few months ago, so also: don’t panic!)