First let me say that these photos are not of the kids at school. They are of Owen and some neighbor boys.
Today, at school, a little boy broke his arm.
It was during the third and final recess of lunch - we break the kids into 3 seperate groups. Every recess was busy and I gave out a lot of passes to the nurse when kids, mostly boys, would do things like get hit in the head with a ball or tun into pole. I've noticed that boys are very hard on their heads.
I noticed that the kids were all grouped around a boy, lying on his back, under the bars. As I approached the bars - at a run - another student reached me and said that the boy had hurt his arm. I could see immediately that it was broken. It hang noodle-like just past his left wrist. It was terrifying to find him broken in that way. He is such a little guy - a second grader, 7 years old - and he was not crying, but moaning and saying, no, no, not again. I cannot express how hard it was to hold back the tears. I stayed beside him, radioed for help, and waited with the boy. My partner, he tried to move the kids away, to give the boy room, but they were curious and concerned. I heard him snap at the children, something that I have very rarely heard before, so I knew that he was very concerned.
The bell rang and the boy's teacher, she had the class line up along the edge of the playground and I could see some of the girls crying. I asked him about sports, what his favorite color was, what color his last cast was, what color he would like this time, what movied he'd like to watch this weekend, pretty much anything I could think of in an attempt to distract him. At first, he kept trying to move his hand, with the other hand, sort of testing it's brokeness. I said, honey leave it alone, leave it be. It scared me the way he'd do that and he'd say, it burns, it stings. I tried to support the elbow of the broken arm, so that he could hold it in a neutral position, across his chest, and I held the hand of the unbroken arm. I was worried about him making it somehow worse.
When his mom arrived, she was shaking. Apparently, she was working in the class all morning and had only returned home for lunch. I tried to reassure her, said, you are doing good, Mom, but she just looked at me blankly. It's hard to know what to do first or next in a situation like that. Your child is in agony, looking to you to fix it, and you need professional help, no bandaid is going to fix a noodle-arm. Oh man.
Bay has broken two bones, neither this bad, but Max, that boy has scared the crap out of me more times that I can remember with his seizures and turning blue. Children, they are so fragile.
I know that working during recess or in the cafeteria might seem like a simple job, but I take caring for other people's children very seriously. This little boy, he was so brave and so scared at the same time. I feel as if I'm going to hold a picture of him in my head forever now. I know that I'm going to be watching him very closely on the playground, afraid that he will break again.
I hope he's resting quietly now and that his mom is better able to relax. Poor little guy. He's going to miss playing with his soccer team, The Half-Pints tomorrow. He told me that they had a game. :(