Have you ever had a broken bone? Has your child had a concussion? It is hard to be in pain, but it is worse watching your child in pain. I think I did this at least a hundred times with my children. Amazingly they all survived their childhood and reached adulthood with their bodies scared but intact.
We had four children within seven years and when the youngest was ten years old we had one more son. We call him our bonus because a bonus is an unexpected pleasure. It was almost as though we raised two families. The first family had three sons and one daughter. The second family was a single boy. He had far fewer injuries than his older siblings experienced. I explain this because sometimes I refer to our four children and sometimes I may say our five children.
The children were quite energetic, and often in their play they injured themselves or each other. We have a long list of accidental and unintentional injuries that happened as a result of play. This list includes four broken legs, one broken arm, numerous sprains, two concussions, a broken collar bone, multiple smashed fingers, missing teeth, a scared forehead, and countless stitches to heads and arms. Yes, other non-play injuries also happened, such as two nails in feet and one in a behind.
We were frequent customers at the local hospital. Once, we had two head injuries within a week. We went to a clinic for the second injury so that the hospital would not contact the state authorities. During one emergency room visit a worker called us by name. This was quite disturbing. At first we thought we had been there so often we were known. We were relieved to discover it was a neighbor who was an EMT.
One day our four year old told me the two year old was eating all the purple vitamins. He was unhappy that she was not sharing. I discovered she used a chair to climb onto the counter and reached beyond the sink to the window sill to apprehend the bottle of Children’s Tylenol. She did not have any difficulty removing the childproof cap and helping herself to the delicious little pills. Over the phone, poison control instructed me to administer Ipecac and proceed directly to the emergency room. I do not know if Ipecac is still a standard first aid item, but I do believe that our daughter did not have any liver damage because the Ipecac I gave her caused her to vomit within twenty minutes of ingestion. I am thankful for the neighbor whom I did not even call, but in my panic I simply sent the three boys across the street to her home. I knew she would be there.
When a child is in pain and recovering from an injury siblings have the wonderful opportunity to practice mercy and serving. Usually they are quite compliant about doing so particularly if they were the one who “caused” the injury. The injured person can practice forgiveness. Thankfully, we did not have any life-threatening injuries so another lesson we embraced was focusing on the short-term impact of an injury. Even if you are in a wheel chair at Disney World when you would rather be walking about freely,it is only a temporary arrangement.
Sorry to say this, but pain is also an excellent inducement to finally mastering swallowing pills.
Sometimes life has stops. Stops are the times when all the plans are dropped to focus on an urgent need. And then we all make adjustments to accommodate. When an injury spoils plans such as a broken leg preventing employment as a soccer referee, we deal with the disappointment. These things happen in life.
Pain, inconvenience, interruptions, and disappointments all happen, and with a positive attitude we can become more merciful and compassionate people because of them. All my children’s breaks and wounds have healed; although my daughter is still dealing with dental issues from a bicycle accident.
p.s. I didn’t even mention scrapes, cuts, bruises or the sticker bush entrapment.