My two year old broke his leg a little less than a month ago. It was traumatic (mostly for me) and painful (for both of us) and I didn’t blog about it at the time because I was not really interested in explaining how it happened. I am still not. (Sorry.)
In fact, not satisfying people’s curiosity about the circumstances was something completely new for me, and I was rather proud of myself! I have never been one of those people that could just leave people hanging without the story they so want to hear. This time I had good reasons, which I explained were why he “just fell”, and moved on. Some people really didn’t like that. But it was liberating for me, and yet one more sign that this is really the year I have gotten older.
When the little guy got his cast he was so cautious, and just sat and whimpered until we came over to carry him from place to place. After a couple of days he was scooching on his tush. Then crawling with the cast. By the beginning of week three he was climbing on and off the furniture, dancing, running, jumping – even on beds – and moving so fast and so well that I couldn’t get a diaper on him.
Today he sauntered into the orthopedic surgeon’s office with such cast-finesse that the experienced surgeon was shocked.
They decided they had to take it off to get the x-ray they wanted in order to check his progress. Off it came. I sat with the baby in my lap, cradling him in my arms. He immediately recognized “Luke” (who was just amazing, by the way) and started screaming. This was the horrible man who had put him in the thing! Now, this same person was coming towards him with a small electric circular saw. Can you imagine the scene?
Of course the little guy couldn’t understand the freedom he was getting. He couldn’t understand the kindness being done to him. He was just scared and upset.
The x-ray showed a miraculously and completely healed leg bone, and they left the cast off. As he sat there with a completely healthy leg, he refused to step on it or use it in any way, never mind walk. Of course he has to readjust, and I wouldn’t push him. He will get back to being a crazy monkey, eventually, just like he did with the cast on.
By this evening he hesitantly stood and limped along using both legs, declaring “yay feet!”.
But I had a real revelation today about our human nature as I sat holding my terrified little baby getting freed from his bondage.
There are so many times that we cling for dear life to whatever it is that has most recently become familiar. Even if it is itchy and “weighs us down”, it is what we know. And since it is what we know that is how we want to move, run, dance – even if life could be lighter, easier, faster and smoother, we resist the adjustment process itself. We are just like Hashem’s scared little 2 year old, having no idea that this scary circular saw coming at us is really truly “l’tova“, for the good.
I am happy this moment came during the counting of the Omer. This is our personal and national ascent in spiritual heights to become the person we need to be in order to personally receive the Torah on Shavuot. I know that at least for me, this will definitely have to involve casting off some shackles of my own, and learning to walk again.