Buckle, Shift, Bind, Heal


Photo: Ursa Minor’s hand being prepped for a splint.


It had been such a lovely party.

The Husband had built a roaring fire. The food was excellent.  The drinks were crisp and responsibly consumed. Hot dogs and s’mores were cooked over open flame. Star Wars was watched during the exciting moments, ignored during the other parts. We looked up and it was 9 o’clock. The afternoon had gone by in a blink.

So did the incident that resulted in Minor’s buckle fracture.

It all can only be best described as an accident. It was dark, the children were playing “battle the Death Star” on our play equipment. Big kids and little kids, at the peak of a s’more sugar high and after a very exciting movie, ran and screamed in the twilight while we adults enjoyed ourselves next to the fire pit. Next thing we know, there was a scream and children scattering.

Some of the kids called the incident a collision, others a push. Either way, Minor fell from our slide, braced himself for the impact with his hands and was injured. Because it didn’t swell and didn’t behave like how you’d expect a break to (he could his move his fingers, even had freedom of motion around his wrist), we let him go to bed and went to church yesterday. But he wouldn’t use his right hand for anything. Wouldn’t put any pressure on it at all. So, I packed up a bag and took him over to our little community hospital.

Again, I have to make a plug for little community hospitals. They really are wonderful. We walked in, were seen right away. Not only did Minor get x-rays but the tech let him go back behind the book to see his the photos of his bones. Certainly a little bright spot for a stressful moment. Everyone was kind and unhurried, very attentive and fussing over him. He loved the attention, forgetting about the pain.

And there is pain. But not for the reason why you think. There is tenderness in the spot where the fracture is, sure. But the pain really comes from the incident itself. He’s sad that another kid’s actions are the reason why he’s hurt. He cried when he told the story to the nurse. He cried when the story to his classmates today. He cried when he told the adults at Major’s school when they saw him today. And my heart breaks, because I know that this is one of those lessons that you have to learn, but hurts no matter what: not everyone is nice. Not everyone does the right thing. Sometimes, people hurt other people.

My five-year-old may never again see everyone in the world as inherently “good.” My five-year-old may never again see everyone in the world as inherently “nice.” There has been a shift in that child’s worldview and there is nothing I can do about it. That shift was an inevitability. That caution would have to be learned eventually. But, he’s my baby and he’s 5 and damn, I work really hard to keep his world comfortable.

I’m not terribly angry. I don’t want to be, anyway. We share community with the family involved, and it would be silly to be anything but gracious about all of this. Apologies were given, forgiveness granted. The world is angry enough.

He gets a real cast tomorrow. He doesn’t need surgery, as far as I know. The bone will heal and he’ll be fine. He’s right-handed, so he’s having to learn how to make his left hand functional and that’s a bit frustrating for him. And yeah, no drum lessons for the foreseeable future. Yay to saving money! Boo to halting progress!

This is life, Dear Reader. Thank God for insurance. Thank God for time to deal with it. Thank God it’s just this small little thing and nothing more. Thank God it’s the very beginning of summer, so plans aren’t ruined. Thank God we live in Massachusetts, land of a million hospitals and well-trained doctors.

Oh, but Lordy, I could do with one less challenge right now.

It’s Monday and there is a lot to do, Dear Reader. How are you doing? Let’s get through the week together.

Until Wednesday, take care.

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