Saturday Rachel and I were at the pool with the girls. It was an uncharacteristically cool, Mississippi August evening. We had just enjoyed a little poolside pizza when Emma decided to jump rope her beach towel. She didn’t even make the first jump before her feet were tangled and she came crashing down to the concrete. It seemed like it happened in slow motion.
At first, as she cried hysterically and Rachel tried to comfort her, I could not see what she hurt. A year or so back, she had been slung out of our golf cart by a now unemployed babysitter, knocking out her front two teeth —so I immediately inspected her mouth. Everything was in place. That’s when Rachel showed me her chin.
She had a nice gash, but it was one of those in between injuries. It wasn’t obvious to us whether or not she needed stitches. We began to call all the neighbors we knew who worked in healthcare, but it was Saturday night and nobody was home. Finally, I sent a text to my friend Mike who is an emergency room doctor. By this point, the talk of a possible hospital visit had Emma positively freaked out.
Craig: Are you in town? Emma buster her chin – not sure about stiches.
Mike: Yeah. In town. Send picture. What did she hit
Craig: (Sent Picture) Concrete – Doing jump rope.
Mike: Let’s glue it. Can y’all come to the house???
So we loaded up our crew, wet bathing suits, blood soaked towel and all, and headed to Dr. Mike’s house. Mike and his wife, Angel, were happy to see us. Emma had calmed down. She was glad to be in a house instead of a hospital. Mike skillfully guided her to lie on his kitchen counter and within a few minutes, had her chin cleaned and glued back together. He was smiling the whole time. It was impressive. Afterward, he took us on a tour of his backyard garden and he and Angel put together a mess of heirloom tomatoes for us to take home. I love Mississippi. I felt grateful.
You see, my family was in crisis. We had a bleeding child and lacked the knowledge and skill to help her. It was not during regular business hours. Emergencies are not restricted to Monday through Friday from 8 until 5. Mike didn’t care. He was happy to help –joyful to be honest.
As a Mississippi divorce lawyer, I need to take a lesson from Dr. Mike. While most of the time I am not dealing with physical injury and the courthouses are only open during the week, I am always faced with emotional wounds. My child was at risk for a lifelong scar, and so are the kids caught in the crossfire of divorce. It is an honor to have the opportunity to help people when they need it, and it comes with great responsibility. Dr. Mike knows this.
So here is the lesson. If you think your situation needs professional attention, it probably does. If your professional acts joyful at the opportunity to help you, especially if he sends you home with a mess of tomatoes, you have found a good one, so follow his guidance.