Monday, 24 March 2014

Go on, break a leg!

Over the weekend my 10-year-old goes and breaks his arm, right? He was jumping on a trampoline, except the trampoline was on its side and he was kamikazing himself up and off it, no hands just cries of delight (which quickly turned to yelps of agony and far too many swear words for one little lad).
Photo courtesy Emma Hamlin

So my husband and I do as all guilty, er, good parents do and whiz him to our local hospital to survey the damage and mop him up.

Nothing too unusual there I'd have thought but as I bring him in, face ashen, stomach in knots (and that's just me), I notice a ripple of delight amongst the older adults working in the Emergency Department. They're all smiling, one or two laugh and all want to hear the story for themselves. Like a soldier returning from war, or an aerial skiier, fresh from Sochi, young Felix is a bonafide hero. And I shine in his afterglow. Apparently.

The nurses, doctors and various medical hangers-on couldn't be more thrilled for him, and me. They'd high-5 us both if Felix's hand wasn't quite so swollen and I wasn't hiding behind mine, feeling like a Terrible Mother.

Here I was thinking they'd call the Department of Child Protection and report me for bad parenting. Turns out, it's gold medals all round.

One nurse goes so far as to say, "We love it when kids come in with fractures!" and I'm not sure whether to bite her head off or puff out my chest with pride.

Clearly reading my confused and slightly psychotic expression, she quickly back pedals. "Sorry, it's just that it's nice to know that some kids are still outdoors, having fun, getting up to mischief. At least they're not all inside on their Playstations."

Better to have lived ...

Suddenly, I feel a whole lot better. That's right. I AM a good parent. No helicopter hovering from me! My child gets to run and jump and break his arm!

And when I turn to Felix and say, "Still, you won't be doing anything quite so silly again, will you?" he stares at me blankly and then shakes his head emphatically.

"I'll just do it better next time, Mum," he declares between gasps of excruciating pain.

And now, only now, do I feel a small sliver of pride.

Sure, it's going to be a wild ride with this one, but at least he'll be riding wild in the real world, and not on the sofa with a controller in his hands.

And the writer in me can't help thinking that he'll have one hell of a story to tell on Monday at school. It'll certainly make a more gripping tale than what level he reached on Black Ops.

Happy living, everyone.
xo Christina

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