Dear Big Kid on the Sledding Hill on New Year's Eve: No, wait. Scratch the "dear." Let's start with, "Hey, kid." I understand the whole skiiers-have-the-right-of-way thing, and the always-look-uphill thing. But you weren't skiing; you were sledding. And from my brief but recent sledding hill experiences, sledding involves making sure the path is clear before you take off. To translate, this means that if a little, 35-pound, six-year-old boy is downhill from you, carefully setting up his sled for take off, you can wait 30-friggin seconds until he's out of the way. It's not like you can't see him. And later? When I was carrying my wounded son off the hill, and when my even tinier daughter was standing next to me, and you went flying by us, almost knocking the Girl down? You are so lucky I had my Boy in my arms right then, or I would certainly have derailed you with a swift kick to the ribs.
Dear EMT Samaritan: I appreciate the fact that you motored over on your snow machine to ask if my son was okay, especially since I really had no idea if he was okay or not. But for future reference, after you identify yourself as an EMT and offer your help, it seems that you might want to do more than just have the injured person squeeze your fingers, and then say, "He's fine." I mean, really. In a society as litigious as ours, you might spend a bit more time checking out the wounded party, and follow it up with something like, "I don't see signs of a concussion or major back injury, but it might be good to get him checked at a medical facility." Perhaps that's what you meant when you said, "He's fine," but it was hard to tell. Also, when the Big Kid on the Sledding Hill comes up several minutes after the incident--an incident which you did not, as you mentioned, actually see--I recommend that when he offers his half-assed apology, you don't say, "Oh, don't worry. It's not your fault. It was just an accident." I might recommend that you at least suggest he be more careful in the future. Again, I understand that accidents happen, but the dude could have waited.
Dear Eagle Healthcare Center in the Vail Valley: By all reports from the Boy, the Hubby, and Hubby's best friend, you rock. Quick service. New equipment. Nice, knowledgable doctors who know all about sledding hill injuries like this one:
Dear Son: I am so sorry that you this happened to you. What a bummer ending to a great trip. I'll never forget how sweet you looked as you were carefully setting up your sled for a big run. You were so brave on the big hill, and so excited. And then I saw him coming. I didn't even have time to shout, and you wouldn't have had time to move anyway, and I know you didn't see him coming. But I watched him completely T-bone you at a very high rate of speed as you were kneeling next to your sled, and I watched you get launched, flipped, and flattened, and I just started running. I wish I could get it all out of my head. But I am so grateful that the injury wasn't worse. Because it could have been. Much worse. And I have been amazed by your poise and strength during this whole thing. Right afterwards, I knew you were badly hurt, but you were so strong and told me you were already feeling better. Word has it, you chatted with the doctors and didn't cry at the medical facility. You haven't needed any more pain meds than a few children's Tylenol, you've slept well every night, and you cheerfully followed the accident with two days riding in the car back to California. What kind of superkid are you? In the past, I have worried that I have babied you and that you aren't independent enough. Granted, you might be easily frustrated when your drawings don't turn out right or when it's hard to get the bumps out of your socks, but when the chips are really down, you are the strongest, most cheerful, most resilient kid--make that person--I've ever seen. It's amazing how much I love you*.
*And I apologize in advance for the hovering I will be doing for the next few weeks as we wait for those bones to fuse. I am terrified that you will fall down or that someone will bump into you.