I was in the hospital last night -- this time with my son, who had been running with friends and tripped and landed on his wrist. It has a nice, clean break and is expected to heal quickly. The initial trauma and pain is behind him, and he is dealing with having his right hand in a fiberglass splint until he gets a cast sometime in the next few days.
He's managed to get through this in relatively good spirits, especially as my husband was taking him out for ice cream on the way home from the hospital, and as I picked up balloons and gum and small presents along with his pain medication. Something about being excused indefinitely from washing the dishes helped, too.
But today I noticed a special spirit about Jacob in the face of this challenge. As we were getting ready for church today, he started making a mental list of things that he can do with his left hand. Some were easy. ("I can get a straw out of the drawer for my drink." "I can still open Mom's car door.") Some were more challenging -- like dressing and writing -- but he was determined to tackle those as independently as possible. By the time we got to church he was sharply dressed and groomed, and he had neatly written his name and drew a self-portait with his left hand.
This won't always be an easy situation for him to deal with, and perhaps when the novelty and attention wear off he may get frustrated and tired. But today my son taught us all a great lesson as he chose to focus entirely on his abilities and his possibilities rather than bemoaning his disabilities.