Young Fingers Slammed in the Camper Van Door On Our Way To Moab

Kyle in the camper van
Kyle in the camper van

A week ago my friend Marianne flew to Utah. Thankfully, we see Marianne often so she is used to our crazy life. We had been battling a cold virus for weeks and were on the edge from months of homelessness. Marianne was coming to see the Park City House. At least she was when she bought her plane ticket. Because there was no house to see we decided to take her to Moab.

We were exhausted from packing and preparing for our trip. With snotty kids in tow we made it to the airport. We were all hungry and I had a weird hankering to buy a thermos for our trip so we stopped at the new SLC Gateway shopping plaza. We couldn’t find parking so Dave dropped Marianne and I off.

In the Sports store I decided I wanted to buy an outfit for our trip. (I think the thermos was just a ploy.) I was on overdrive. While looking at all the hip track suits I hear my phone ring. I didn’t recognize the number. It was Dave calling from the store phone. He had found a parking spot and was in the store with the kids. After buying my fancy “New Jersey Girl” as Dave called it, jogging suit we were ready to get something to eat.

We went to drop our packages off before heading to the restaurant. As I was shutting the door to the van I looked both ways so to speak and slammed the sliding door shut. Out of nowhere I hear the blood curdling screams of Kyle. Out of somewhere from beyond I hear Dave’s even more curdling screams,

“You slammed his hand in the door. Beth, you slammed his hand in the door.”

Dave’s face was green and Kyle was in pain. His little fingers were swelling and he had blood all over his hand.

“Beth, how could you do that? Didn’t you see his hand?”

(Dave had been holding Kyle and Kyle had wrapped his hand inside the door of the van. No, I hadn’t seen his hand.)

Dave’s reaction and green face were so intense that I felt as though I had killed both of my sons. I took Kyle alone in the van to console him.

“Mommy, Mommy my fingers hurt. Mommy,” Kyle said through heaving sobs.

“Oh, Kyle, It was an accident. Can you forgive me?”

“It WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT!” He sobbed.

Then he paused for minute, caught his breath, and seemed to open up.

“I will forgive you.”

Of course I felt terrible. I still do. I tried to assure him,

“Kyle, Mommy did not mean to hurt you. She would never try to hurt you. It was an accident. I am so sorry Kyle.”

In true and  most generous form, Kyle followed with,

“I will forgive you, Mommy. It was an accident.”

During our interchange Dave went to the Sports store to buy Band-Aids and get ice. I called my brother Brian the doctor. He assured me that even if Kyle’s fingers were broken that we didn’t need to rush him to the hospital. Kyle was settling down and so was Dave. We decided it was ok to get some food. I held Kyle all the way and in the restaurant. Even though he was wiped out he was returning to his old self.

On the way to the van we stopped at the Gap and had a little hat buying spree. I see here that I am sweeping over some details and taking the tweezers to others. We bought hats for us and the kids at about a dollar a piece.

Gap Hats at Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
Gap Hats at Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

It was about 8:30 P.M. and we were still in SLC. We still needed to buy diapers and now more Band-Aids and pain reliever. As Marianne and I got the goods, Dave entertained the kids in the parking lot of Smith’s, the local grocery store. We got the kids ready for bed and finally hit the road.

Me and Moe Moab, Utah
Me and Moe Moab, Utah

Oh, it’s not over yet for this first day of our trip. Just before we reached Price, Utah, which is halfway between Moab and Salt Lake City, we nearly missed hitting a boulder that had fallen and was sitting in the middle of the road. Luckily the boulder had managed to roll into the other lane. A few cars were pulled off to the side, and we wondered if one of them had hit the rock. We also feared that someone would get killed trying to push the immense object off of the road. The rock must have weighed over a ton. We flashed oncoming cars to warn them. As we drove away from the boulder we hit really crazy thick fog. The fog so thick that we could not see the cars in front of us. And because of this thick fog, we felt like we were trapped together in a moving padded cell. At one point, Dave, Marianne, and I even discussed how we could get ahold of some Paxil (for all of the anxiety). Several miles and minutes later the fog cleared. We rolled into Moab at about 2:45 A.M. The condo we had rented for the occasion was wonderful and I couldn’t wait to put my head on my pillow.

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