I had been meaning to do an update on Briggs since we had done one on Max not long ago. Only I did not intend for it to be under these circumstances...
A few months ago we (Briggs and I) had decided that we would try out tackle football this year. Leslie, on the other hand had firmly decided to wait until he is 16 and is convinced that Howie Long's son Jake didn't start until high school so that should be good enough for Briggs. I've no idea why on earth she knows who Howie Long is or how she would know when his son did anything football related, but she's convinced as much nonetheless. So, we (Briggs and I) have been practicing quite a bit getting ready as much as we could. His throwing and catching has improved greatly and we decided the other day to go to the park to work on some running. We were doing something of a juke drill where he would run up toward me, stutter step and juke one way or the other. If he got too close I would give him a little (relative to a 6'4" grown man) push, he regains his balance and runs on to the goal. We had done this for maybe 20 minutes and were getting ready to leave when we decided on just two more. On the next to last run he comes at me full speed, he gets too close, I give him a push, he stumbles five yards or so, loses his balance, falls, and SNAP, arm is broken.
Through all of this Leslie has joked that we have a Curse of Broken Things upon us. In the last week she has found two Willow Tree figurines mysteriously broken, a broken picture frame, dropped her external hard drive and damaged it beyond repair, and now this.
The little man was so absolutely amazing for the next several hours. First he didn't cry a single tear, the whole time. When it happened he yelled "aaargh, I think it's broken!!!" and I confirmed as much with a quick look at the damage. I decided to drive him to the hospital and he, Max, and myself calmly walked to the truck and drove for nearly 30 minutes to Children's Hospital. The call to Leslie was tough not knowing how she would react, but she was calm and cooly met us at the emergency room without a hint of panic about her, the dread of the sedation hit a little later, but she put on a brave face for Briggs and comforted him with stories of her broken wrists (plural) when she was younger. The whole way to the hospital Briggs just rested his arm while he and Max watched a movie on my phone. The entire time at the hospital he was so sweet and patient and strong. It turned out that he cleanly broke both bones in his forearm but you wouldn't have guessed it by the calmness of his little 8 year old face.
The hospital was great. The nurses and doctors were all very kind and took such great care of him. Briggs calmly watched as they put the IV in and once they got him some pain medicine, the only complaint he had all night was being extremely thirsty. He couldn't eat or drink due to the impending sedation that would come when they had to reset his bones. I would give anything if it could have been my bones that were broken and me laying there. It breaks your heart so terribly much to see your child, the one that not so long ago could fit into the palm of your hand, to see that beloved son, broken and tired and thirsty. The most scary part was watching them sedate him and seeing the look in his eyes when the medicine started to take effect. Despite all the comforting and encouraging that everything was going to be alright, for a brief moment when his eyes lock with yours and you see him slipping out of consciousness, for a brief moment you see a look of doubt in those little eyes that haunts you until everything is alright once again. The doctors had told us to encourage him to think of happy thoughts before going under and that would promote happy dreams. And true to their word, Briggs woke up about 15 minutes later with a new blue cast, temporary double vision, and reconnected bones, telling us a fantastical tale of our lego family (another forthcoming post) adventuring through a city made entirely of legos.
Days later he and I would talk of this experience and share our feelings and express how much a father can love a son and vice versa. We would talk of salvation and God's love expressed through Christ, we would hug so strong that a cast from wrist to shoulder would be forgotten about for a moment. And once again I am reminded of how so amazingly blessed I am. Blessed to have a savior in Christ, blessed to have a sweet and beautiful Christian wife, blessed to have a happy-go-lucky albeit somewhat crazy four year old son, and so deeply blessed to have a sweet and courageous eight year old boy who I have the distinct honor of watching him teeter between being a child and all too quickly growing into an amazing young man right before my very eyes.