Towards the end of last year, I tore some ligaments in my left wrist. It was a painful time that culminated in surgery in December. I wore a cast for a month or so after the surgery, then a brace, and then (finally) nothing. I’m still in rehab, trying to convince the wrist that – despite what it has been through – it still needs to be able rotate.
When the whole business started, I explained to the kids that I injured my arm, and that they had to be careful to not touch it. They have been, I must say, extremely considerate.
“That’s daddy’s hurt arm!” became, for a while, a regularly heard phrase echoing around the house.
For the past month, my injury has faded away from the family consciousness. Yes, they still see me doing the exercises, but for the most part no one worries about it. A week or so ago, however, I discovered that it would never truly be forgotten.
He tripped over something in the back yard and banged his knee. I did the regular parent thing to see if he was okay – made him move it, asked if he wanted ice, and so forth – and then proclaimed him okay to keep playing.
“No!” He said. “You don’t understand. It hurts!”
“I know, and I’m sorry about that. The pain will fade though. If you want to sit down for a bit, that’s fine.”
“No, it really hurts!”
Clearly, I wasn’t giving him the level of sympathy he wanted. I tried nodding. “I know it does. I know.”
“But Daddy, it hurts worse than your arm!”
Sheesh. “No way!” I said. “No way!”
He winced to show just how much it hurt. “It really does. It hurts worse than your arm!”
I helped him to a chair. “Okay, then. You just sit there until it feels better.”
He sniffled dramatically, sealing his victory. “Okay. That will help. I’m sure it’ll be better soon.”