My son, you amaze me.
This week you broke your arm jumping off a swing. It is thankfully not a bad break, but painful nonetheless.
Always the cautious child, I was surprised the first time you showed me your new swing-jumping skill. I was so proud of you for trying something new, and a little riskier than I expected from you.
And you jumped SO HIGH!
And stuck the landing.
I considered the risk and whether I should ask you to not do it again. But your dad and I want you to be free to be a KID. Plus, I jumped off of many swings and monkey bars when I was your age.
And sometimes I fell too.
Many jumps later, you got off balance and broke your fall with your wrist. On the grass. Who knew a bone could break from something simple like that?
I knew you were really hurt when you were hoarse from screaming before you could even tell me what happened as a neighbor walked you to the front yard.
Even then. In your tears. You were so brave.
Many tears, deep breaths, an ice pack, and a root beer float later, you actually decided you’d rather play than go home.
It’s OK that after a few minutes you came back in tears, ready to go.
It really hurt. And you were brave for trying., and wise to know when it was time to stop.
That night, we iced it, and you went to sleep with nothing more than Tylenol in your system. It’s OK that you woke up several times in tears.
Knowing what we know now, I’m surprised you slept at all.
In the morning, you woke bright-eyed and said you thought it felt a little better. I watched you all morning, playing, but careful not to move it up and down.
When I asked, you were willing to try moving it. You winced in pain, but tried anyway. You were adamant that you could go and play with friends that morning.
You played all morning long and had a blast, arm cradled close to your body. After seeing you cradle it all morning, we headed to the doctor.
The doctor isn’t your favorite place, but you are always willing to go and to do what they ask of you.
Even when you’re terrified.
Through the years you have battled some serious woes – reflux, repeated pneumonia, ear infections, allergy skin and blood testing, wheezing and asthma, and more. Many kids don’t know the doctors as well as you do. But they also don’t have to be truly brave because they haven’t experienced the things you have as you head into the office.
I am always amazed that even though you are afraid there, you understand that they are going to help you and that we need to be there. You don’t fight me as we go in the door, and you accept that some of what may happen might not be fun.
I promise to always be honest with you about what will happen there – I know you can handle it, and will always be right there with you.
As we waited to see if we needed an x-ray, you asked all kinds of questions. I love your curiosity and how you carefully listen to understand. I love watching you quietly process the words and to hear the next question.
You are incredibly smart. A wise soul in the body of a 5.5 year old.
As the doctor asked you to move your wrist, you knew it was going to hurt, but you did everything she asked you to do. You held still as she gently examined your arm.
I was so proud as I heard you thank her before she left the room. And then you thanked the nurses and x-ray technician, too, as we saw them one by one.
You weren’t so sure about that huge x-ray machine, but you sat still, and watched with cautious curiosity as they prepped everything. Even though the position for each x-ray wasn’t comfortable, and I had to leave your side to stand behind the wall, you sat still. You anxiously looked for my face in the window, but did exactly as they asked.
When we told you ‘good job’, I saw you light up. You knew you did it just right.
Then it was fun to see your face light up when they showed you your x-rays and you saw your bones.
You were so excited! It isn’t every day you get to see a picture of your bones! Although a broken bone isn’t fun, you still emanate joy despite your circumstances.
Tired of waiting, I could see that deep down, you just wanted to know what came next – even if it meant the bone was broken.
As with so many other doctor’s visits in the past, you are always willing to hear the hard news – sometimes more than I am.
You meet these battles head-on.
When the doctor returned, I could see on her face that the bone was broken. She soberly explained what happened to your bone to cause a buckle fracture in the radius.
You listened carefully. You asked a couple of questions.
Then you quietly accepted the truth, turning to tell me it was broken, just in case I didn’t understand.
You held very still as they prepared the splint and wrapped your arm, even as your arm got tired from holding it out and above your head. I could see the fascination on your face as you watched what they were doing. Even though the splint and sling were uncomfortable, you were willing to wear them.
And when the doctor explained how we couldn’t take the splint off, you quietly nodded.
Always willing to do as they ask, even when it may mean the end of summer water fun.
Walking to the car, you kindly asked for help with your seat belt, offering suggestions for how the sling could go on top of the belt.
My little troubleshooter. If you want to, you will make a brilliant engineer one day.
And as the sling belt dug into your neck, you told ME it was OK, you were going to be fine. You were so sweet, thanking me as I placed a soft towel underneath to make it more comfortable.
You are one tough, thoughtful and grateful kid.
It was surely disappointing when we came home and all your friends were outside playing but we had to go inside because the temporary sling wasn’t dry or set yet.
And as you asked me questions about playing in water, riding your scooter, and bike, and more that wouldn’t be a good idea right now, I saw the sadness in your eyes.
But then you took a deep breath and again, reassured ME, saying…’It’s OK mom. I don’t care if I broke my arm. I’ll be OK’. And, even better, ‘I’m glad God made our body so it can heal’ (be still my heart!).
What more could we ask of you?
Easy going. Brave. Calm.
With a good attitude even with a broken bone in the middle of summer.
We get the cast on Monday. It wont’ be fun wearing it for the rest of the summer, but I know you are going to be OK, just like you told me. There will be disappointment, but I can already tell you are going to make the most of this.
This morning you made me laugh as you asked me to put your eye patch on you so you could play pirate with your sister.
A broken arm cannot touch your imagination, sweet pirate.
Today I’m writing this because I see you. I am proud of you. I am grateful for your positive attitude and joyful heart. I see your childlike faith and trust that God will heal you.
Today, you have encouraged ME, your mom – and I’m not the one with the broken arm.
I love you.
I promise you I will find fun activities for you to do with a cast and your one arm.
And to tell you just how much I love you and just how proud of you I am – today, and every day.