We’re deep into this season called winter. So deep that when we actually do have school it seems that inside recess for elementary students is a given. It’s that inside recess that caused the problem…
Early Friday afternoon I received a text message from my wife. I was eating lunch with colleagues from the Worthington Education Center as we were engaged in an important all-day planning and strategy meeting. The text said simply “The school called and they think our daughter may have broken her arm. I’m going to take her to Children’s.”
My first thought was stink! My second thought was, well at least it’s only an arm. My third thought was, they must have been outside for recess. (Friday was fairly warm for January in Ohio and although there were patches of ice, students may or may not have been able to be outside.) Even in my official position with the schools I was having thoughts about whether the students really should have been outside for recess. These thoughts tend to run through a parent’s mind when you’re taking your child to the emergency room whether or not they are valid. I think it’s just natural.
When I arrived at the emergency room to meet my wife and daughter, my daughter looked pretty rough. She had been doing some serious crying and was not willing to move her arm. In looking at the arm I understood why the school thought she should be checked out. There was a large bump by her wrist and it was starting to swell.
Gently I tried to piece together what happened. Were you outside for recess? Did that boy push you again? No and no. It turns out they were indeed inside for recess. (Our amazing school principal used excellent judgment as always :)) My daughter was engaged in an intense game of Nerf basketball, lost her balance going for the ball and fell backwards. In falling backwards she landed on the arm. No one pushed her, no one even touched her. She just lost her balance.
After a fairly short wait we were able to have her arm X-rayed. Funny thing, in talking with the doctor after reading the X-ray her arm was not broken. It would be bruised but fine. However, the X-ray did show that the thumb she fell on while ice skating two weeks ago was broken. Hmmm….
My fifth grade daughter looked right at me and said, “Dad, I told you it hurt, you told me just to move it around and to quit crying!” Well, I may or may not have said something like that. The thumb was only purple for a few days and she played both soccer and lacrosse with it. But, apparently it was broken.
So, I probably won’t win any parent of the year awards for 2014. My daughter decided both her thumb and arm were healthy enough to play floor hockey this morning, so we think she’s good to go. If only the students could go outside for recess….
(BTW: Our school handled the situation really well. We appreciate the office staff who took good care of our daughter, communicated with us throughout the process, and checked up on her this weekend. It’s really good to be able to send your children to people who care about them and that you trust! I hope everyone in Worthington has this same experience…not the broken bones part, or the bad parenting part, I mean the experience with the school.)
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