Rush to school to pick up Paul for a piano lesson. Rush back to school for his soccer game. Watch his team get creamed. Watch a large kid collapse on Paul's leg in front of the goal. Watch my child crumple to the ground and then get carried off the field. Rush to the emergency room. Sit around for hours and hours in a mysteriously slow yet unbusy hospital. Make cheering conversation with my brave but nervous child. Overhear why other people are also sitting around in the waiting room. (Best story: "I don't know how it happened. I just tipped back in my chair and the lit cigarette went right into my eyelid.") Overhear excoriating televised news about Fred Phelps, who is clearly protected by the First Amendment but is surely going to hell. Meet numbers of pleasant ambling hospital staff members who prod my child and make him wince. Eventually get a verdict: very bad sprain, fluid on knee, possible hairline fracture on his knee's growth plate. A nurse named Autumn wraps his knee in a brace, teaches him how to use crutches, and talks about her twin boys. We feel sad that she is a night nurse with two babies sleeping at home who are awake when she has to be sleeping. Not that she complains. Paul's spirits lift inordinately once his knee is immobilized. Now he can anticipate the glory of arriving at school on crutches and the fun to be had when he makes his brother jealous by describing his wheelchair and hospital-bed rides. Now, finally, we get to drive the 40 minutes back to our house, Paul eating a banana and chattering about learning to play Dave Brubeck songs on the piano and how he's going to attend all his soccer events anyway and how, when quarterback Tom Brady tore his ACL, he was out for the season, and on and on. And I am very tired, but happy for him to be happy and not terrified anymore, and grateful for the state health insurance that covered his visit, and hoping not to hit a deer in the road, and imagining the comfort of clean sheets on my bed. Which, as it turns out, is a dream in vain because I can't sleep and spend the night on the couch instead.