Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thumbs up

Forgive the picture. It's the best my BlackBerry could do with the available fluorescent light, and after the day that Noah had just had, I wasn't about to get hung up on the finer points of photography.

Long story short, little man jammed his thumb while playing basketball at school. I fetched him and, after a false start at a closed-early-by-budget-cuts urgent care centre, we ended up across town at the ER.

Noah was his usual stoic, balanced little self, taking in the sights - a deathly ill-looking, wheelchair-bound woman smoking in a deepening snowdrift, a little girl around his age using a walker to get around - with the eye and demeanor of someone much older. He answered every question from the doctors and nurses with the kind of politeness that reminded me of my wife.

As we waited and waited, he hung out on the examining room bed, listening to kids who whined too much and parents who should have needed a license to procreate, smiling quietly at the circus but refusing to let it bother him. At one point, his lip quivered and tears began to fall: he was hungry. In the rush to get here, he hadn't had a chance to eat anything and it was now past suppertime. A promise to pick something up afterward stemmed the tears.

Eventually, the doc with a kind heart I wish we could both bottle and clone appeared and quickly diagnosed strained ligaments. Nothing broken, thank goodness. A splint for 5 days and pain reliever and ice. Back into the snowy night we went, picking our way to the open house at his school that he so very much didn't want to miss.

And his empty tummy? A Mars bar from the vending machine was all he wanted. And he got to eat it in my car, the one I always said would be a meal-free zone. It was a very special day, I said with a wink, so we could easily make an exception for him.

About halfway there, he sighed happily from the back seat and said this had been a great adventure for us. Despite the pain he still felt and the tough day he'd just experienced, our wise little guy somehow managed to see the big picture from inside our darkened car. I blinked back the tears and continued driving through the blinding snow.

Your turn: How do you find the good in something that isn't?


Hilary said...

Poor, sweet little guy. You and your wife sure know how to raise wonderful kidlets.

Peter Anthony Holder said...

It's actually the moments like this that both of you will remember for the rest of your lives.

You'll probably incorporate this story in the speech you'll make at his wedding.

While ERs are never great places to be, it certainly did give you a father/son bonding moment that money or socialized health care can't buy.

And it gave you just a little more insight into the mettle that is your son's character and a preview into the man he will become.

Anonymous said...

That was some great writing. Really.

dennisthemennis.co.uk said...

Poor little guy! hope it sorts itself out soon.

and I cant find the good in something that isnt, I leave that to my life long friend and wife Sharron.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Similar situation...My middle child, had her ring finger slammed in the car door.. We were all getting out of the car and my oldest didn't see that her sister's finger was near the closure... Well we all slammed the doors and she screamed and looked like that cartoon cat where all limbs go straight out.. I kinda laughed cuz her hand caused the doors not to lock and we were all hearing the clicks to the doors and her screaming... Result: splint on finger. thank God it wasn't her middle finger in a splint!.

Rebecca said...

So sorry about Noah's thumb poor guy. my son broken his finger at school back in Dec. we getting the cast off today i hope.

Scented Sweetpeas said...

aahhh poor little man, sounds like you had a lovely bonding day however :-) Wow he looks like you!

CorvusCorax12 said...

i hope he feels better soon , poor guy

fredamans said...

Amazing our kids perspectives. Hope he heals quick!

Anonymous said...

That's actually a quite good picture, but the picture you carry away with you of the kind of son you are raising is tons more precious.
I'm glad to hear that his basketball season is far from over.

Jules~ said...

Bless his heart. He sounds like he is a very wise and mature young man. His stability in looking beyond the moment is a great credit to you and your wife.
It is moments like those that make it all the more special to be given the honor of parenting.

darlin said...

Your post touched my heart, thank you for sharing your son's story with us. There is positive in every situation, if we each look deep enough to find it. I am amazed with your son finding this at such a young age, a sign of awesome parenting in my opinion.

dana said...

Thank God we have the capacity to see the good when it isn't there after the first blink. It's the second and third blink that count.

I have similar memories/experiences with my kids hanging out in ER. The stories continue to linger.... the pulled ligaments, broken collarbones, false appendicitis, etc have left the core of the stories now. What remains is the time together, the observations and craziness which happened around us, and the conversations to and from the hospital.