Let’s get this out of the way real quick—my son broke his arm. It happened. It’s unfortunate. But more important than that unpleasant event was what I was able to make of it. After his broken arm was dealt with, as I watched over him resting on the couch, propped up with every pillow I could find, it got my old blogging gears spinning. I felt that engine spark to life. There were points to be made here and points to be earned. This moment contained multitudes of lessons and jokes that people could learn from and laugh at. This was bigger than me and my family. I was seized by inspiration to craft a long overdue blog post to tell you all about it and somehow build to a statement on the human condition that I may have to retrofit in here somewhere to justify exploiting my son’s medical history and trotting out my family troubles.
Initially, crazily, I considered that maybe I shouldn’t blog about it. Maybe people don’t want to hear about it. Maybe there are some things that should remain private. But that moment passed. As a blogger, I refuse to believe that people aren’t as interested in me and my family as I am. I refuse to believe that no one wants my completely original and hilarious take on my child’s physical trauma. It’s not just that it happened—but how I write about it that elevates it into something way more important. It’s my perspective that people clamor to read.
“What irreverent insight will Jeff spew next?”
“How the fuck will he work some ‘truth bombs’ into his too real shit!”
“I know he says what we’re all thinking, but he says it in a way that no one thought to say before and he’s got a beard.”
I’m as excited as you are to see what I’m going to come up with.
Yeah, any child can break their arm while rollerblading and implore you with their panic-widened eyes to tell them that they are not going to die. But not everyone can blog. It takes a certain special someone with inimitable talent to twist those everyday moments (like an 8 year-old slamming into the concrete hard enough to break his developing bone in two) into something worth sharing with the forever internet. And let’s be honest, blogging only exists because of bloggers. Every post. Every twist of phrase. Every short three-sentence passage that begins with the same word is a gift of eternal wisdom. Bloggers bring brand new ideas to the cultural conversation. We are the cultural conversation. Fuck you Plato, we’re modern day philosophizers. Bloggers know this, blog readers know this. Everyone’s just been waiting around for a hero to say it. I’ll be that hero. Your hero.
My son broke his arm and it’s my duty to do all that I can in my writing power to pivot that unchangeable and unforgettable moment in my son’s life to gather likes and shares and comments. As I write this, I’m considering where I’ll put the inevitable selfie. I’ll have to take 25-30 to find the perfect one. Then I’ll write some witty quote that will cause people to vomit up a “Boyyyyyy, I’VE been there!!”
I should mention that he broke BOTH bones in his forearm. So it was actually two bones with one fall. Overachiever, right? Gosh, my family can’t seem to catch a break even as we catch a break. Feel free to tweet that.
It was wild! I ran over to him after I put my drink down and he screamed that his arm was broken and of course I told him to rub some dirt on it! It’s not my fault that today’s kids are so damned soft. I mean when I was a kid, I rode on my bike for miles every night when the weather was above fifty degrees without one of those bullshit helmets on my head, and I crashed and racked my balls countless times on my bike frame and I still grew up and had kids. Now those kids have to wear hi vis gear when they go out to catch imaginary fucking POKEMON. And they still end up falling off cliffs!
Anyway, I told him to walk it off and then I saw the way his arm bent in a brand-new direction and I thought, “I’m going to have to drink a lot of white Russians to get over that!”
I carried him as he hyperventilated. I put him in the one vehicle we have that has air-conditioning. I don’t get people who go broke buying brand new cars every 2 years. We have a 2008 Honda Pilot and an even older Ford Escape. And while they’re old and they creak and they might leak noxious gasses into the passenger area, they both have the best feature of all—NO CAR PAYMENT. Fuckin A! People lose their minds over that new car smell. I’m not one for luxury. Still, I thought it would be best to drive my tiny boy and his super-bendy arm in the one vehicle that could keep him as comfortable as possible. Which is more than I ever got. Where is that eye roll emoji?
When I was a kid (in the goddamn 70’s!) I sat in my dad’s cargo van with no air conditioning or seat belts and rattled around like a pebble in a maraca and I turned out ok except for the occasional crippling panic attack where I’m certain I’m going to die. But I don’t.
We took our baby boy, who kept holding his arm like he thought it was a scared bird that might fly away, and put him in an adult-sized wheelchair that had enough room to fit two more terrified boys, one on each side of him, and rushed him through several terribly slow sliding doors and into the ER. He couldn’t begin to fill that chair and yet we wanted him to act as brave as someone who could. All that awful space highlighting how tiny and alone he was. How very vulnerable. How dependent he was on his parents to make the pain go away. To take his arm back to normal. To rewind time and skate with him and let him know that he’ll always be strong enough and loved enough to handle the things that life throws at him, suddenly, on an easy Saturday afternoon. He was lost in that adult-sized wheelchair, holding his arm, and I was lost too.
Of course there was paperwork. Lots of it. I’m including it here because there’s a national healthcare policy issue I want to work into this post. Otherwise, you would never hear about the paperwork. If this post was just about my son, and I didn’t care about making it impactful and relevant to whatever gains the most traction in social media today, then I’d focus on the way I could tell that my son was doing all he could to keep from crying in front of strangers and how I wanted to tell him that he could cry his fucking eyes out. I’d find the words to tell you how I wanted to make him know, without a glimmer of a doubt, that his mom and I would always do everything we could to make his entire world ok. I’d write about how I hated that I couldn’t make it ok. And how I hated that he was at the mercy of people we hadn’t met yet.
But fuck that. I have a post to finish.
Anyway, a lot of boring stuff happened that just made me want to collude with some white Russians. An army of them. In the end, he got a popsicle without having to finish his broccoli first. In his tiny little kid world, isn’t that a coup? He even got to pick the flavor! It’s more choice than I ever got.
It was a lot of drama for something that he’ll barely remember as he gets older. Kids bounce back so quickly. It’ll all be part of a funny story he’ll get to tell later about how he scored a popsicle one day in August.