I’m really trying to be that Mom. The one who carries an Epipen in the heel of her shoe and a half-dozen homemade organic spinach muffins in a matching handbag. I really, really, really want to be that Mom who accessorizes in preparedness.
So for my son’s first baseball game of the season, I spent a couple of hours preparing. I packed a cooler of water and sports drinks -- even enough to share. I packed another bag with a picnic blanket and some snacks that the other kids could munch on while we watched the game. I loaded the car with 2 strollers, 2 sets of directions to the park, 4 kids, 8 shoes and a fully charged cell phone. I was ready.
I picked him up from school in the Red Cross mobile unit I call the car, and as soon as he walked across the parking lot, I realized I had forgotten his baseball gear. He marched up to the car in full uniform wearing black loafers. Uh oh, forgot the cleats, too.
After a quick stop back home and 40 minutes of traffic, he ran off to join his team, and I unloaded kids and food and followed behind like a Peruvian llama. We set our load on the bleachers, and 4 seconds later we were swarmed by a hive full of angry, hungry and baseball-loving bees.
Now keep in mind the relative rarity of this situation. I have only ever been stung once when I was 8 years old. My kids have never been stung. In fact, the last time I saw more than one bee in a singular place was about 10 years ago buzzing around the trash can at a cider mill where I think they make bees.
My 4 year old got stung twice, but we did not panic, because that Mom was there! I ran to the car to retrieve one of my two First Aid kits which I keep both in the car and in the diaper bag for just such emergencies.
The car kit was gone. I seemed to recall moving it this summer to make room for a skim board and sun umbrella. Oh well, I still have the secondary kit, and sure enough, it was tucked into the diaper bag pocket. I opened the 4x4 inch plastic case foolishly expecting it to hold a defibrillator, anti-venom and an off-duty EMS driver. Unfortunately, there was only room for a tube of Neosporin and 3 knuckle bandages.
I soothed her with kisses and antibacterial ointment and applied the oddly-shaped stickers to her leg and hand which looked like giant adhesive “H’s.” I feared the bees might mistake these for signs designating “Honey,” “Hive,” or “Helpless Child,” so we quickly re-packed the obsolete supplies, arranged for a ride home for my son and ended up leaving before the first pitch.
On that long ride home, I realized a couple of things. First, I really need to re-stock the First Aid kits. And second, that despite my best efforts, I am always going to fall short of being that Mom, but I will keep trying.
That Mom would have known that you always need a Plan Bee.