Body Parts

My kid smashed his thumb in the sliding door of our van last night.

He’s okay, but it was awful.

He pulled on the handle just as I was clicking the remote to open the door.

The handle worked first and gave him just enough time to slip his thumb through before the remote closed the door again.

I realized right away what had happened and I hit the button to free him, but it was too late.

The door had shut completely with his thumb in the frame, so even though he was free, he was startled and hurt.

My son doesn’t do well with this kind of thing.

He stood in the garage holding his thumb tightly with the opposite hand and screwing up his little face with tears and heartbreaking boy frowns.

He was distraught.  And mute.  And kind of confused about what to do next.  So was I.

I was pretty sure he didn’t break anything, but he wouldn’t let me get a really good look.  (Yeah, yeah, I know – not a decision for the seven-year-old, but you’ve never seen him like that.)

Anyhoo, all is well today.  He went to school and the thumb seems okay.  One little cut, but no swelling.

The whole thing has made me think a lot about getting him to really learn all of his body parts and to tell us when one of them is injured or achy.

His therapist, his teacher and the two of us have been working on this with him, but we’re a long way from achieving the goal.

It really is a sobering thing to know that your child isn’t capable of telling you information that may help to save his life one day.

I hate to play that “what if” game because it makes me frightened and paranoid, but really, what if he goes through something more serious, like appendicitis?

My oldest nephew spent weeks in the hospital when that happened to him and he can talk.

My son is vulnerable in so many ways.  I try not to think too much about the future because honestly, it makes me tired and sad when I do.

But someday, I won’t be here and he will have to tell somebody else where it hurts.

To plan for his independence means facing these scary things and trying to prepare him, so we’re learning the body parts, as fast as we can.

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