I said I was going to write more on why I missed the last day of the Newfrontiers conference – so here goes… Last week was utterly manic for me – great but manic. It was wonderful to be able to plan to attend the whole conference, as I only normally go for one or two days due to childminding issues. But each day we travelled to Brighton – and each day, during the breaks, I was running around speaking to people, making new contacts etc for work purposes. In that sense it was a double blessing for me, and extra exhausting! But then we arrived home on the Thurs early eve… Within an hour we were heading for A&E. Why? Because our youngest had blood pouring from his mouth. The two of them had been playing around on the floor of his sister’s bedroom while I tried to call them into the bath. As I pulled them apart he fought me and slipped – albeit 2 inches – onto the carpeted floor and started howling. I thought it must have been a carpet burn on his chin as I saw he hadn’t put his hands down to steady himself. But no. There was a huge amount of blood and two bottom teeth sticking out alarmingly far from his mouth and at 90 degrees to where they should have been. What followed was an evening in one A&E, then another early morning trip to a second A&E, a wait for the plastic surgery team, a painful try at removing his teeth without any pain relief and then a different type of painful wait for a recovery bed in what was a hospital now closed to paediatric patients. God’s favour was on us though, and the doctor who saw us wouldn’t give up and finally secured him a place at the end of the dental day surgery list. My poor little boy had managed to lacerate his bottom gum with his top teeth and, while the gum healed itself with what seemed to be miraculous speed, his bottom two front teeth were not salvageable. So we went through an incredibly short but traumatic general anesthetic process – he fought it, I fought back tears – and then he bounced back far quicker than we did!
There is nothing like an accident to refocus yourself and I am glad that it was my basic mothering instincts that took over that day. Okay, yes, if I’m honest I did have one or two thoughts about how was I going to work out particular articles without seeing the people I was due to on the last day of the conference. And I had been so so chuffed to be at the start of the conference, having never been, that I was really looking forward to being at the final day of the final international conference! But that did all pale into insignificance when I saw my poor boy and I just desperately wanted to hold him, to make it better, to take his place. All the times I had worried whether I was not paying my kids enough attention, whether I had too much of a focus on the new direction my work is taking, whether church takes too high a priority in our household, were swiped away that day when I realised without a doubt that I would make sure my kids came first. They are such a precious gift from God and I am determined to be the best mum I can be!