It was a lovely, unseasonably warm Friday afternoon, a day begging for bike riding, swingset playing, and impromptu games of backyard soccer. Greg had just left for his annual March Madness highschool-buddy-bonding weekend, and Miss Chloe had decided that the time had come for her to master her two-wheeler. My next-door neighbor and I were taking turns racing down the concrete driveway behind her and her hot pink princess bike and I had a moment -just a moment - in which my weekend flashed before my eyes. She would crash on the driveway. Greg was out of town. She would break a bone or bust her head open. Greg was out of town. I would spend the night at Children's Hospital alone with my four children while my husband drank Yuengling and watched the Duke game in a cabin in east nowheresville, Kentucky. I was about to insist we relocate the bike lesson to our soggy grass when I was stopped in my tracks by an ear-piercing scream. Sam was crumpled in the corner of the driveway, holding his arm.
I walked over, refusing to acknowledge that God-given mother's sixth sense pushing relentlessly into my consciousness. With children, there are categories of screams. There is the I'm not actually hurt, I'm just mad scream, the I'm not actually hurt, I just want attention scream, the I sound like I'm dying but all I need is a band-aid scream, the It's pretty bad, forget about sleeping tonight scream, and the mack daddy of all screams, the ear-piercing, otherworldly My bone has just cracked in half scream. This last one was the scream I heard from the corner of the driveway.
I picked him up and it was obvious that his arm was broken - so obvious that it made me sort of sick to look at it. My neighbor, a nurse, saw it too, and sucked in her breath. I hugged him to me and mouthed over his shoulder "ER?" She nodded and whispered back "Go to Children's." A few phone calls later my mom, Sam, Charlie, and I were on our way to the hospital.
I'm grateful... Children's Hospital was awesome. They took us back immediately so that they could get Sam out of pain, despite a full waiting room. After three xrays and confirmation that he had broken his radius bone, he was finally given anesthesia around 9:30 pm and his bone was set. He chose a lovely bright purple for his cast - no neutral manly colors for him, that's for sure. I love my boy - never one to follow the crowd. He was a trooper, and I only broke down once - when the orthopedic told me it would be better for me to leave the room when they set his arm, because I wasn't going to want to watch what they had to do. I'm sure they were right. He had a few unfortunate moments barfing into a bucket when he woke up, but he was a complete trooper - even cracking my mom and I up several times with his perfectly pitched observations of hospital life from the eyes of a five-year-old.
My mom, Sam, Charlie, and I pulled into our driveway, exhausted, around 3:00 in the morning, and Sam was asleep in my bed mumbling about the pizza he never got to eat a few minutes later. Here he is the next morning before the obligatory broken-arm donut run:
The purple cast hasn't slowed him down one bit... yesterday he spent an hour jumping on the trampoline after working up a good sweat at Tai Kwon Do :-). My neighbor, a pediatrician, stopped over to chat as he was jumping away and looked at me like I was crazy, but trying to stop a five-year-old boy is like trying to stop a freight train. I'm just going to be spending a lot more time praying for those angels to surround my little ones, and grateful that, by God's mercy, the worst of it thus far has been a broken bone.
Just for kicks, here's a hilarious picture of Charlie taken that night around 2 am:
The child just about pulled an all-nighter. He slept until noon once I finally got him to bed :-).
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”