Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I’m riding in the back of an ambulance with my eight-month-old. We’ve had a car accident. Max bumped his head on his car seat and the cop at the scene told me we could go right to the ER to have him checked, and of course I said yes. Max is crying, but not because of injury. He hates the strap they have tied around his head, around his body, to keep him still, When we get to the ER,  I run in with Max before the cops. Two doctors swarm around me, but instead of being sympathetic, they snap. “Is this the first time he’s had an injury?”  And then: “What did you do?”


“We had a car crash,” I say, but the doctors whisk Max from my hands and start examining him, shining lights in his eyes, testing his reflexes, and when they look at me, it is with disdain.  It isn’t until one of the cops saunters in and confirms the accident, that things change. One of the doctors comes over and gives Max back to me, settling him in my arms. “He’s fine,” she says, smiling, and I hold him tight and all I can think is both how glad I am they look out for babies, and how dare you, how dare you.

Caroline, Hoboken, NJ, writer

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