Early this spring, Tyson achieved a pretty important milestone for a 4 year old; he learned how to cross the monkey bars.The accomplishment didn't come easy for his spindly little arms. It took weeks of practice and hundreds of attempts with my arms cradled underneath him. He yelled at me that he could do it himself. He yelled at me to watch him try again. He fell and I caught him. Lots.
And then one day, I watched as his tiny biceps carried him across the 8 rungs to the other side successfully.
The monkey bars quickly became a favorite at the park. So much so that I let my guard down when he would go on them. I quit running underneath him with my arms out. I quit worrying about him falling.
Last week, at our tiny neighborhood park, I sat on the bench and helped Mila fix her shoe. I glanced up to see Tyson on the monkey bars-two rungs in. He started to struggle, slipped and lost his grip. He fell face first into the mulch.
It happened so fast.
There were tears. And whimpering. I wiped the mulch off of his face and out of his mouth as he told me he hurt his arm. He was able to move it without limitation and there were no external injuries visible, but he continued to whimper. Tyson doesn't whimper. I had a sinking feeling.
After a quick trip to urgent care (with a certain 2 year old currently obsessed with Doc Mcstuffins who would not stop yelling, "TIME FOR YOUR CHECKUP!"), we confirmed what I had feared- he had broken his elbow.
Because I let my guard down.
For the next 3 weeks of summer, Tyson will miss out on swimming with his friends. He'll miss out on splash pads and sprinklers and the hot tub. He'll miss his last week of hockey practice and probably won't be able to sign up for T-ball. He won't be able to ride his bike or his scooter with his friends. He can't tube at the cabin or jump off the boat.
That's a lot of Mommy guilt to swallow. I might need a glass of wine (or two) to wash it down.
I could wallow in the Mommy guilt (and wine!), but I've decided to focus on the positive. For the next 3 weeks of summer, Tyson will also learn how to be resilient, patient, and tough. He'll learn how to rely on others when he needs to. He'll learn to problem solve and think outside of the box. He'll learn new ways of doing old things. He'll learn how to ask for help.
He's a fast study. Also, clearly he will never learn to be careful.