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LIFE ... WITHOUT BUMPER PADS

Son's foot injury an unexpected source of family quiet time

Monday, October 8, 2012 - 12:01 am

Editor's note: Jill Adams is a professional writer based in Fort Wayne.

It was a beautiful, autumnal Friday night. All three kids were happily tucked in bed, and the house was calm and still.

I was alone downstairs, enjoying the quiet and thinking about the fun weekend ahead of us. We had planned to do all of our favorite fall activities: a festival, a farmer's market and a pumpkin patch. I smiled with excitement.

And just as I did, I heard a thud.

And then I heard a yelp.

I raced into the next room and found my oldest son on the floor, clutching his ankle.

“What happened?!” I asked as I knelt beside him.

“I tripped and landed on my ankle weird!” he wailed.

Too alarmed to wonder why he was even out of bed, I looked down at his ankle. I could practically see it swelling.

“I heard it crack!” he added between sobs.

My husband entered the room, and I pointed to our son's leg.

“I'll go get dressed,” he told me.

Ten minutes later, I plastered a reassuring smile on my face and waved to my son as he and his father left for the hospital. Not being there was driving me crazy, but without a late-night, last-minute babysitter for our younger children, it had been our only option.

Three long hours later, they finally returned home. My little boy was in a cast and hobbling on crutches, but to my surprise, fairly chipper — and eager to show me his new accessories.

“Look at this thing Mom,” he said, pointing to his cast. “Feel how hard it is!”

“Are you in pain?” I asked him, unable to hide my dismay.

“Not really,” he said nonchalantly. As he slurped the chocolate milk my husband had purchased for him at the hospital, I raised my eyebrows in surprise.

While I realized a broken bone wasn't an uncommon occurrence, I had been operating under the belief that we had experienced a small travesty. My injured child, on the other hand, seemed as relaxed as if he had a splinter. I frowned at my husband.

“He's fine,” he said in response. “Orthopedic doctor Monday, and we'll know more then. For now, he just has to use the crutches to get around.”

My son nodded affirmably, and they sent me off to bed so they could watch a few minutes of a Western movie and unwind from their long night. As I made my way upstairs, I shook my head in an effort to process what had just happened: I had spent several hours panicking, and my son had taken the whole thing in stride. I couldn't help but admire his calm.

The next morning, my younger children awoke early. When their brother joined them several hours later, they surveyed his leg in awe. We all helped him get settled on the couch, and as he happily munched a doughnut, he looked over at me thoughtfully.

“You know, this isn't so bad,” he said between bites.

I laughed, and then sat beside him as he turned on his favorite superhero movie. My younger son took his place on the other side of me, and my daughter climbed in my lap. As we cuddled, my husband began concocting one of his homemade pizzas in the kitchen.

I took in the amazing aroma wafting through the house, and basked in the unexpected quiet time with my family. It wasn't quite the weekend we had planned, but as my son leaned his head on my shoulder, I realized that something good was coming out of it.

“Mom?” he asked me.

“Yes?”

“Don't get used to me being this calm. As soon as this cast comes off, I'm going to run around even harder.”

I looked down at him and grinned. I wouldn't have expected it to be any other way.

This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel. Jill Adams blogs at http://lifewithoutbumperpads.blogspot.com.