Tough Break Kid

Daily our house is full of adventure.  How could it not be with seven kids.  Dr. James Dobson says, "There is no greater privilege in living than bringing a tiny new human being into the world and then trying to raise him or her properly...and for parents of boys, the greatest challenge may be just keeping them alive through childhood and adolescence." right he is. 

Growing up, I wasn't really a girly girl.  I would consider myself a tough farm girl.  I can do things boys can do, and I was just as adventurous as I see my boys being.  A daredevil or stunt person.  If it seemed to invite exploration, I was always eager to accept the invitation!  It kind of scares me now to think with a "mommy mind" about how dangerous just getting out of bed could be.  I would like to wrap each of my children in bubble wrap at the start of every day...and then keep them in a bubble too, but I know that isn't very realistic.  Boys are by nature more aggressive, adventurous, dangerous, tough, etc, etc, etc.  Obviously girls can be all these things too, but I've heard more than one experienced parent of boys (or even a single boy) say, "Oh my goodness, you are bound to be a saint with all those boys".  Moms of boys are special for more reasons than just taking care of all those scrapes and bumps and bruises that happen daily.  There is a special bond between moms and their boys just as there is between dads and their daughters.  I love being a mom of boys.  In fact, I was scared out of my mind to have a, because I remember some of the drama, and two, because I had three boys and I felt like I had a fairly good handle on how to take care of boy needs so far.

I love being a mom of girls too.  :)  We'll see how that continues to unfold in the coming years.  I know there are some great things to come, and I look forward to them.

In the almost 11 years of being a mom, I've been in and out of the E.R. six times with little people.  I can't even count how many times we've been in and out of Urgent Care.  Stitches, staples, tetnus shots...when Joshua was about 6, he fell from the loft of the barn and hit his head on the cement floor below.  He had a goose egg the size of, well, a goose egg!  Last year, Benjamin and Jakob were transported via ambulance to the E.R. after slicing their feet open on a broken bottle while wading in the lake.  Mathilda has had staples in her head one time, so the emergencies have definitely been more of a boy thing.

This is the last week of school, which means field trips and cleaning out desks, taking cold lunches and no real school work or tests.  It is a fun last couple of days with very little stress, and we're all equally counting down the hours until the last bell rings to close this school year for the summer.  I love having my kids home in the summer.  I often wish it was much longer than the token 10 weeks.  It goes so fast.
Yesterday, I was on my way to take popsicles to the park for the 2nd grade field trip.  In all my organizational challenge, I found myself at the wrong park...the 4th grade was there, but not the 2nd grade.  I was early, so not a big deal.  I went back to the car, buckled up little people and started toward the next park when my phone rang.  (I didn't take it from the car with me, so it really was a blessing that I had gone to the wrong place and had reason to be back to the car at that point to answer it.)  It was the school.  I was sure they were calling to make sure that the popsicles were on their way, or something trivial like that.  Nope.  Mrs. Anderson was calling to inform me that Jakob had fallen and broken his arm.

My first reaction was that I couldn't believe he had convinced her to go along with him on this prank...and I couldn't believe that she DID!  "You're kidding right?"  "No, I wish I was."  I was shocked, scared, worried, and saddened.  I knew he was being well cared for and told Mrs. Anderson I would be right there.  I delivered the treats and immediately headed to school.  (Both parks and school are all quite close to each other.)  The little kids were very understanding when I explained why we wouldn't be staying at the park to play.  In fact, Benjamin offered a prayer for Jakob.  When we arrived at school, Jakob was waiting.  Ice to his arm, beads of sweat sitting on his entire body and his face with the expression that he was in a lot of pain.  They had rigged a make-shift sling from a sheet for him and helped him into the Suburban.  His teacher, Miss Hoeller, offered to take the three little ones while we headed to the doctor.  This is part of the beauty of this school and the school family.

Tim met us at school and rode with us on what seemed like the longest trip to Holy Family EVER.  I knew Dr. Wurtz would be able to offer us peace of mind about his injury.  He has 5 boys himself.  :)   Trying to help minimize his pain we kept joking with him about better ways to get out of doing chores, always being the first to do things, the possibility of using his cast as a bat.  It wasn't helping much until Tim said, "Can we stop real quick to get a soda?"  At that point, Jakob stopped moaning long enough to say, "only if I can have one too."  That's what we do I guess...try to make everything a little lighter. 

After looking at it, Dr. Wurtz determined we really needed to see an orthopod, so to the E.R. we went.  This all happened at around 1 pm, and we finally left the E.R. at around 6.   The result of these events?  One broken right radius, and a possible chip from the elbow.  One boy in much pain.  One more trip to the E.R.  One very rocky start to the beginning of summer vacation.  One very grateful mom that it was just an arm and not a vertebrae or a brain injury or worse.  His arm is in a splint right now, and will be casted on Thursday when some of the swelling has gone down.  He handled all of it well...especially after the morphine.  :) 

While doing what moms do in these situations...providing encouragement, comfort, practical assistance and help, prayer and composure, my heart was breaking.  It is not fun to see your child in pain...physical or emotional.  I've said before, I can connect to my kids through many things, but certainly through sports.  Because I know this, I try to use it to my advantage, especially with Jakob since we butt heads so often anyway.  Often I don't offer the most timely daily know, the "you did such a great job getting dressed by yourself, I'm proud of you."  I think it, but I don't say it.  For some reason, it is easier for me to offer compliments and conversation before and after a game.  I really enjoy watching them play.  I love the competitiveness.  I love watching their progress.  I love to see them having fun and being part of something.  I truly love watching Jakob play...he is aggressive and determined.  I am reminded of so many of his positive attributes.  He is a very good baseball player.  It saddens me that his season has come to such an abrupt end.  It is not easy to sit and watch something that you so badly want to be part of.  He will still enjoy being part of the team, he just won't get to play.  He reminds me of myself...and I see it through the athlete in him. 

WHY?  I truly wish it was me instead of him.  It would be MUCH more inconvenient if it was me, but I really want to take away his pain and his hurt.  I guess that's what happens when you become a mom.  There is a reason for everything.  Maybe this is to show Jakob again that rules are implemented for a purpose other than just telling people what to do.  (They were playing tag on the play structure at the playground when he fell 10 feet from the is against the rules)  Even though the enforcement of the rules had become a little more lax lately, we can now recognize that there was definitely a reason they have been implemented. 

OR, maybe it is to serve as a wake up call to could have been worse.  My children definitely have guardian angels working overtime.  I used to be so good at praying everyday for my kids...simple things like, "God, protect them during their day today."  I don't do that very well anymore.  I mean to, but I just forget, or get busy doing something else and take for granted their safety, when I could be asking God to keep them in His arms every time they walk out the door.  I don't think that is excessive.  Maybe it is to remind me that the things Jakob and I butt heads about aren't important.  I love him so much...a broken arm is mimimal compared to a broken relationship.  Maybe the minimal break happened to prevent the big one.