“Daddy, do you think they will let me get a red cast so that it can match my Phillies shirt?”

I wanted to tell him there were other ways to show he supported the team, but it was too late at that point. A few nights before as Sarah and I were finishing dinner at the kitchen table with Adam having dessert, we heard a crash and scream from the other room. Through the tears, Brandon told us what happened. He said he built a fort. Then he “climbed up onto the roof of it but fell through,” which makes total sense, right? I had so many questions but decided to just ask if he was ok. He sobbed as he held his arm and told us he hit it on the floor and a bookshelf when he fell. That immediately got our attention. But while he was sore, he was still able to move his arm, hand, wrist and fingers. So we hoped it was just a bruise.

He was still hurting the next day so we made an appointment with the family doctor just to get things checked. At that point, he had started to develop a bruise and some swelling. They were concerned by the swelling so they sent us for x-rays. Brandon actually wasn’t worried, but thought it was cool because he “would be able to see his bones.” And Brandon was a trooper getting it done. He let them move his arm all around, despite the pain, and then asked if he could “look at the pictures they took” after the x-rays were done. 

Walking into the place we got x-rays was a flashback to when my mom used to take me after I did something that needed a further look. Growing up, I hurt myself – a lot. There were breaks, strains and sprains. I had tears and concussions. You name it, I did it. I made my mom miserable by somehow always hurting myself. If I didn’t end up on the ground, I wasn’t really giving it my all. I even managed to fracture my wrist the weekend my mom got remarried to Murray. I still remember waiting for x-rays at the hospital, with my grandmother asking how I could do that to my mom before her special day. As if I planned it that way.

I was kind of hoping this was another area where Brandon would follow Sarah, who never needed a cast, rather than me who broke everything, regularly. Maybe that was wishful thinking. 

Once he found out his arm was broken and he was going to need a cast, Brandon turned his attention to other thoughts and questions. First of course was the color of the cast. He wanted his favorite color, red, to show his support for the local sports teams. But then he told the Doctor it would be good to get the cast because the “cast could hold down his math papers” on his desk. I let him know we could have just gotten him a paperweight and skipped the pain and worry. Then he asked if we could stop to get a marker so people could sign his new cast. I realized he was going to be ok and had already moved on from hurting himself. It was just more for his mom and me to worry about together.

On our way home with the new cast, Brandon said from the back seat, “I learned my lesson Daddy. The next time I build a fort I need a stronger base to hold me up.” I was more hoping he would say he wouldn’t climb on top of it, but I guess that’s too much to ask.

When we got home, he called my mother-in-law on video to show her the cast and ask her to sign it. I went over to say hello and when she saw me in the background, she reminded me what we already knew about my mini-me with this injury: “I guess he really is a Springer.” Not that I needed the reminder, but that’s exactly right – I guess he is.

Read More “Making Time” by Jason Springer


June 2023
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