Monday, January 07, 2008
Deerfield Beach, Florida, December 2007
Zach had another appointment at the hospital today. Almost four months since his accident (see here for the gruesome details and here, here, here and here for followup glimpses) he's gotten used to regular return visits to the crowded ortho clinic where they image his leg, assess his progress and figure out next steps in his recovery.
In this ADD-driven world where kids are taught to worship at the altar of instant gratification from the moment they can first suck on a pacifier, this months-long, agonizingly slow process has been an important growth experience in his young life.
Today was a good day. His surgeon cleared him to ditch the cast for good. I had his good sneaker in my knapsack, ready just in case. As he put it on and tied it, I noticed how perfectly white it was next to the scruffy shoe that had been his only footwear since September. He got up and limped away, the doctor's advice echoing in his ears as he took a few tentative steps, knowing he wouldn't be putting his air cast back on when he got to school.
He faces a couple of months of physio to rebuild his strength and coordination. He still limps and is still favoring the leg. All normal and expected. But he's closer to the end now, and that's a bit of a relief after all this time. Something tells me I'll never be fully relieved. A parent's lament, I guess.
Your turn: How do you get through marathon challenges?
About this picture: Taken at the beach a couple of weeks ago. He was worried about how he'd manage the surf, fearful of injuring himself. He tentatively stepped into the water, and I followed with my lens. I wish I could do more than just watch and hope.