A few days ago Marc and I decided we really wanted to take the boys to a pumpkin patch this year. After some searching online, I found what seemed like the perfect place. A pyramid of hay bales for climbing, a petting zoo, pony rides, and pumpkins, of course. We figured a Thursday afternoon would be the perfect day and time to avoid big crowds and so that was our big adventure for today.
We made a scenic 45-minute drive past beautiful autumn-colored grapevines and those lovely rolling golden hills, with Grandma and Grandpa in their car behind us and some other friends following behind them. It was the makings for a perfect day of fun!
We started off watching the chickens behind their cage. Ben got pecked on his curious little finger that got a little too close, but didn't seem to mind. He did learn his lesson, though, and would just lean his face in close to the cage instead, but clearly keeping a much safer distance. There were cows and at least five little piglets, two ponies, and lots and lots of flies. There was a large field of rows of pumpkins and old rusty tractors for playing on and taking fun photos.
Our two boys and our friends' two boys ran around from one fun corner of the patch to another, with smiles and laughter and that contagious joy you wish you could bottle up and keep forever.
Then, it happened.
Marc was holding Hugh, watching the ponies from behind some railing. Ben ran over to join them and I was standing just a few feet behind them, watching. Then, before I knew what was happening, Ben was on his hands and knees crawling under the railing into the ponies area. Marc tried to grab the back of his pants, but he wiggled free. I ran over as fast as I could, but it was too late. One of the ponies got scared and jumped out of the way, hitting Ben right on the side of the head with his hoof.
It's all such a blur. I grabbed him up as fast as I could. He was screaming and I was so scared of what I'd find when I turned his head over to survey the damage. There was some blood on the upper portion of his right ear and some mud (and/or poop) caked into his hair and head right behind his right ear. My Dad whipped out his trusty white handkerchief (so glad he still carries one around with him) and I used that to put pressure on the part that was bleeding and then we took him to a far corner to try to clean him up and look at everything a little closer.
Luckily, our friend is an RN in the ER and was able to take a look and reassure us that Ben was going to be okay and that his cuts wouldn't need stitches. The upper part of Ben's ear has some cuts and was pretty badly swollen by the time we laid him down for bed tonight, but that seems to be the extent of his injuries.
Oh, and that my stomach is still in knots from replaying the scene in my head all night. But, really, the main reason for the knots is knowing how much worse it could have been. I'm just feeling so relieved and grateful that Ben was spared more serious injuries from what could have been a much more serious situation. With this being the third blood-involved injury in a week, I have two main thoughts: I'm really grateful we were required to take a First Aid class for the adoption process and I'm wondering how I'm going to survive life with such fearless boys.