I'm calling my wife at the end of my shift today to find out when she needs to be picked up from work when she tells me that my middle kid, Kate, has badly injured her arm at school. She had no further details, only that it might be broken and that Kate's grandmother was taking care of her at the hospital.
Now, to know Kate is to know a strong-willed, pig-headed little girl of 6 who comes pretty close to living up to the old cliché, "Danger is my middle name!" so we're not surprised by this turn of events, but you just can't help but be sick with worry if you're not there to talk to the doctors and see how she's doing first-hand.
When I got home tonight I found out that she had, indeed, broken something - two things, actually. Her elbow and wrist appear to be in pieces and the doctors informed my mother-in-law that they may have to do surgery if, after examining the x-rays, they decide it's not going to heal well by itself.
I've been with Kate through several traumas now, none quite as serious as this, so I know she's a trooper and, whatever the situation, she'll tough it out and come up smiling in the end. Still, knowing that doesn't do so much for the here and now.