This is definitely not what I had in mind when I said “Can’t we catch a break?” I suppose I should be careful what I wish for …
My five-year-old fell and broke his leg. We spent the evening in the Orthopaedic Ugent Care, getting him X-rayed and then wrapped in a hard cast from his foot all the way up to his thigh. He was quite a trooper through it all, despite obviously being in quite a bit of pain.
The doctors explained that he really couldn’t put ANY weight on the broken leg at all, and that it was too risky to give him crutches, so we would need a pediatric wheelchair. I figured, for a five-year-old, that has to be more comfortable than crutches anyway. And, once he’s over the pain, he might even think it’s kind of fun for the short term. But that’s when the real tears started (the emotional ones, not the “ow this hurts” tears).
When the doctor left the room, my little man looked up at me with those puppy dog eyes that are ALWAYS smiling and, for the first time that I can remember, they were not smiling. He had only one concern: “Mommy,” he asked, “How am I going to play soccer in a wheelchair?”
See, he had been almost literally counting the days until he would be old enough to play soccer, and I had just registered him for a league. He hasn’t even had tryouts or been put on a team yet, but he’s been so excited about the prospect of playing.
I told him we would have to wait and see how the healing was going, and what the doctor said. It might be possible to still get on a team this season, even if he has to miss the first game or two. He lit up again at that, back to his usual super-happy self. And what he said next made ME cry those emotional tears. “OK, but if I can’t play in the first few games, I still want to go and cheer on my team.”
He doesn’t even have a team yet, and he already wants to support them. How awesome is that? I just might be doing something right as a parent here …
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She is an active member and former organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly.