S: Helping Hannah
FC: Helping Hannah | written by Ana Gates illustrated by Hannah Harrison
3: Text Copyright 2010 by Ana Gates, Raleigh, NC Illustrations Copyright 2010 by Hannah Harrison, Raleigh, NC
5: Helping Hannah | written by Ana Gates illustrated by Hannah Harrison
7: When I started working in the after school program at The Franciscan School, Hannah was one of the first students I met. My mom, a teacher at the school, was sure to introduce me to one of her students, Hannah, on my first day on the job. We were fast friends.
8: Hannah Harrison is quite the character. She has a toothy grin, a real short bob, and even shorter bangs. Hannah always makes me laugh—especially because her self-proclaimed nickname is Snicker Doodle. We have this on-going inside joke involving each other’s body parts being made up of food. I know it sounds weird. I can’t really remember how it started, but now every time we see each other she tells me something goofy like “Instead of hair, spaghetti grows from your head,” and I retort with, “Oh yeah? Well you have peanut butter between your toes!” And so it goes.
9: This is the story of the day that I saved Hannah. She took a harsh beating from the play ground, but luckily I moonlight as Super Woman, and I was able to step in just in time.
10: Every day at after school care at The Franciscan School, the children gather in the cafeteria, Jacoba Hall, and play before going outside. When it is time, two counselors take the kindergarten through second graders out to the playground—on this day, it was Mary and I. Although children have plenty of time to go to the bathroom before we go to the playground, it is inevitable that somebody still has to go once we leave the building. On this particular day, Mary left the playground with kids who needed to go to the bathroom. They went to use the ones in the portable classrooms above the playground at the top of the hill. I was alone on the playground with 20 to 30 kids when all of a sudden I hear a scream followed by loud crying. I looked to my right to see Hannah stuck on the up-down playground bridge.
11: Sometimes children are notorious for unnecessary crying, so I began to walk over, but when I saw Hannah’s hands covered in blood, I moved more quickly. I went to pick her up out of the playground equipment and asked her to keep her hands in the air not touching me. Considering how squeamish I am about blood, preventative measures to escape a fainting spell later on after spotting blood down my shirt were in order.
13: After I pried her out of the playground like the Jaws of Life, I did a quick scan of the playground. I remembered I was momentarily alone, grabbed the emergency medical bag, and told Hannah to come with me. I’m pretty sure this is when the transformation occurred and I morphed into Super Woman. All I needed was the cape. Hannah looked bad. Blood was running down the front of her jacket. On my way past the portable classrooms, I called to Mary that Hannah was hurt and that the kids were alone on the playground. As I was saying this another counselor, Joey, was coming around the corner and on his way down to the playground. While rushing to Jacoba Hall with Hannah, I tried to play it cool. Since I didn’t actually have a cape, I had to make sure I played the role correctly. She didn’t need to know that I, Super Woman, freak out sometimes and might become queasy at the sight of blood.
14: I still had not found out where the blood was coming from. She had told me that when she fell she hit her chin so I asked her if she bit her tongue. She said she had not so I bent down to take a look and saw the blood flow and drip from a slice in her chin and down her jacket. Although I tried not to, I felt myself make a face. Oops, not living up to my role as Super Woman. I knew I immediately had to make up for the look of disgust and fear I just gave her. I told her I was afraid of blood and asked if she was too. She said no, but that she sure did hurt a lot.
15: After what seemed like a mile, we arrived at Jacoba Hall. Just as I expected, there I found Rebecca, another counselor. Conveniently, Rebecca is also a nurse. A simple, “Rebecca, Hannah’s hurt,” set her in motion. With one quick glance, Rebecca gave me directions and scurried off to find the first aid kit. She instructed me to hold paper towels under her chin to stop the flow of blood. I had no choice. I figured, at least I was covering it up, so I wouldn’t actually have to look at it, but Hannah didn’t like the pressure and pushed my hand off her face more than once revealing the maroon stained paper towel.
17: Nurse Rebecca came back quickly, and thankfully took the medical reigns from there. I was released from my care duties and could do nothing but wait to see how Hannah would fair. Of course she was a trooper. She came back to school the next day with a few stitches, a chin band-aid, and a big smile on her face. Although the whole experience was frightening in the moment, in the grand scheme of things, it was no big deal. Like I often do, I got all worked up, and everything was alright in the end.
18: She shared with me her experience at the doctor’s office and swore to me she thought her doctor’s name was “Dr. Big Booty” or some such nonsense. In an effort to make sure she was still her normal self, I played our little game. I told her that she had M&M’s inside of her nose. She thought it was hilarious and proceeded to bring Joey into the game as well. Not knowing about our game, he simply shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well it’d be the first time I ever ate my boogers.” And we all cracked up laughing. Everything was back in order—and I, Super Ana had saved the day (Okay—maybe I did have a little bit of help).
23: Ana Gates is currently a junior at Meredith College. She is working on a BA in Spanish with a K-6 licensure, and a K-12 Spanish licensure. She plans to graduate in December 2011. Hannah Harrison is currently in the second grade at The Franciscan School. She enjoys talking, coloring, and playing with Legos.