One cold Tuesday morning in November, the children ran through the living room. A shriek of excitement pierced their mother’s ears. She caught a glimpse of the little, curly, strawberry-blond toddler chasing her brother. He bounded over the couch that sat perched in the middle of the living room. Her hair bouncing, the toddler proceeded to follow him as she always did. The mother caught her toddler, daughter as she lifted her chubby leg to climb onto the seat cushions of the couch. “I have told you to go around the couch! It is too dangerous and someone is going to get hurt,” her warning put the game of tag to an ugly stop as the little boy scowled at her from across the room.
“It is just easier to go over. It takes too long to go around,” he explained. His little head lowered and his feet kicked the carpet as he pouted toward the pleasure depriving mother.
He shrugged and sighed deeply. He did not accept the warning, but complied for the rest of the day.
Wednesday morning brought the same cold and the same children to the same living room playing the same game. This time though, he had provoked the game of tag by taking her favorite stuffed toy and running from her room. She chased with her slow, steady waddle in an attempt to catch up.
The mother found herself checking financial records on the computer with her back turned to the harassment and the couch. Before the mind of the mother could wake from her duty of balancing the checkbook, her son took a giant leap over the couch landing right beside her with a CRACK. Looking down from the computer to the floor beside her, she saw that he had landed on the little decorative bench nudged against the back of the couch. The mother knew that bench could be replaced, but having just worked on the finances hoped it wouldn’t come to that.
She caught the expression in her son’s precious, agonizing face in the next second. He could not speak. Shock had overtaken him. His knees were too weak to stand erect. It was in that moment of evaluating the gestures and expressions of her son that she noticed he tried to touch his arm. It was gently, protectively being held against his stomach in an L shape. The mother glanced down at the completely intact bench and realized the sound that cracked was not the wood, but her son’s arm.
Her heart sank to the deepest pits of her being. She had warned him, but the warnings were not heeded. Now, her precious son was hurt.
Through the next long hours the family would travel from the ER where they identified the break to be a compound fracture in the ulna and a hairline fracture to the radius. They proceeded on to the specialist that had to fit him in during his lunch break because he was so busy. The specialist tried to manipulate the arm but could not do it with the child conscious. Under sedation, the arm was set on Friday.
Today marks six years since that horrible Wednesday.