Wednesday nights we divide and conquer. Our 2 kids take us in 2 different directions for their 2 different sports. I know I’m not the only parent that knows about the after school activity shuffle!
Yesterday, after taking my daughter to gymnastics I returned home to a grouchy little boy. He was laying on the couch with a scowl on his face. When I asked what was wrong he told me he was mad he hurt his finger at basketball practice. I glanced at it but thought nothing of it. A finger jam, it happens.
The next morning, I bumped his hand as we hugged and he immediately yelped. I looked down and his finger was black and purple. It was swollen and bulging. He couldn’t make a fist – the finger wouldn’t bend. Uh-oh, I knew our morning was about to experience an unexpected plot twist.
An Ortho Adventure
Soon thereafter we found ourselves in the walk-in clinic of an orthopedic office. Sure enough, he had really injured his finger and required a cast. Even though it was “just” a finger they explained the cast would need to extend up to his elbow. Interesting!
I loved his joy and zest and they applied his cast. He chose red because it is the best color ever – hello, Spiderman wears red! He was fascinated by the process and peppered the medical team with questions. I watched their eyes light up and they giggled at him.
He was smiling, happy, and not in pain. I was grateful for that! At some point he took it upon himself to explain how I work for New Hope Girls and how he loves getting to send presents to girls in the Dominican Republic. He was a little advocate for our organization! He was precious. Absolutely adorable and quite the conversationalist.
I stood in the corner – feeling like a weird outside observer. Part of me was beaming as I watched the team enjoy how wonderfully adorable and clever he is. Another part of me was aching and felt alone. The heavy that I felt in my mom-heart was making me feel distant from all the activity happening within arms reach.
I was thinking about all that him having to wear a cast would mean…
Two weeks of pausing basketball.
The injury is to his dominant hand – I wondered how that would impact school.
Even though it was just a finger the cast is up to his elbow – showering just got more complicated.
And then there is the overarching aspect of just feeling sad that he had to deal with something hard. It’s part of life – I know – but it doesn’t make it feel good when it happens. I also fought feeling like it is “always something” with him. Our guy has had chronic ear issues that have required 5 or 6 surgeries (I’ve lost count!). There have been other “little things” within his 9 years of living and frankly, it can get tiring. I can start to feel weary. You may know what that feels like, too. I know I’m not the only mom – or person – on the planet who has to push back against “the weary.”
Cast – or Robot Arm?
After the cast was applied my son quickly began pretending it was a robot arm and even shot faux-laser beams at me from across the room. He instantly developed superpowers and I watched his imagination run wild with the possibilities he imagined for his newly modified appendage.
It was hard to feel sorry for him while I stared into his twinkling ocean eyes. Bright blue pools of delight – completely unphased by the unexpected hiccup and hardship in our day.
After getting his cast we went by my husband’s office for the first sharpie signature, Daddy. I took him through the Chick-Fil-A drive through, only making his day more amazing. When I returned him to school he was greeted in his classroom as a hero. The other kiddos couldn’t wait to sign his cast for him. I got notes from his amazing teacher, detailing how it all went down with squeals of excitement and a rush to welcome their injured friend back to class.
Running and the Hunt for Rainbows
When I returned home from the chaotic morning, I was finally alone with my thoughts. I felt really tired. Not sad, not discouraged, just tired. The last thing I wanted to do was go for a run but I am self aware enough to know that a run was what I needed.
As I laced up my bright orange Asics and looked outside I realized the cold rain had scaled back to a steady drizzle. By the time my feet were hitting the pavement the dark clouds were wisping away. So I began to look for a rainbow. The sunshine was breaking through and blue skies were taking back ground. I kept scanning and scanning, unwilling to miss a vibrant display of color, should it appear. There had to be a rainbow coming….
I hope it doesn’t make you sad to get to the punchline of: I didn’t see a rainbow. Not this time. But I realized that was just fine. What really mattered was that I looked for it.
How could I not? I watched my son find rainbows all morning long. From fascination with the creation of casts to making a red robot arm that shoots laser beams at will. All morning he made his own sunshine and overlooked all the clouds.
It was okay that a literal rainbow didn’t appear for me on that run. It mattered that my eyes and my heart were willing to hope. Searching for the rainbow was proof of my resolve to see past the tough parts of my day and believe that something great was on the horizon.
Let’s all look for rainbows
I hope my little guy inspires you to lift your eyes up, to see past the storms in your life. I know he did that for me.
When the clouds are dark and things feel heavy, will you look beyond the circumstances that are obstructing your view? Can you seek opportunities to be filled with delight? Will you also choose to look for the rainbows?
I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. – Psalm 121:1