So. Despite all of our efforts at managing risk, one of my older daughters managed to break her foot in two places. All of our lecturing on cigarettes, slathering of sunscreen, wearing of helmets, lifejackets, proper footwear and eating of green vegetables couldn’t have prevented this accident. She collided with another girl during a spirited game of schoolyard Champ (a ball game) and tripped over her foot. (She is my daughter after all, and has apparently inherited my grace and coordination…).

Because stuff happens. And you can’t put them in a protective bubble.

The unfortunate part of the story is my own. She actually broke her foot last Wednesday, but we only took an x-ray on Monday. She came home complaining of pain, and her foot was pretty badly bruised. But she’s a very stoic child and asked for nothing more than an Advil now and again. She walked almost normally and there wasn’t any real swelling. So we figured it wasn’t anything terrible. Bad mommy.

By Saturday, I realized she had been taking a lot of Advil. I called our clinic and they said we might as well just come on Monday, since the radiologist report would have to go to our own doctor, unless we wanted to go to the Montreal Children’s Hospital ER. Um, no thanks. She was more or less comfortable and not anxious to spend 8 hours in a room full of coughing, vomiting kids.

The good news is that this particular kind of break (on the 4th and 5th metatarsals) is very stable and needs nothing more than 2 weeks in closed, stiff-soled shoes. No cast in the 30 degree heat. No crutches to go up and down the 3 floors in their non-wheelchair accessible school. Whew. This really was a lucky break.

As we sat outside the radiology clinic, she and I talked about the stuff that happens in life. How some stuff is avoidable, mostly through planning, prevention and good judgment. And some things are just random accidents, arbitrary twists of fate or bad luck. She was so strong and calm, even in the face of a break that could potentially derail all our family plans for the summer, and keep her out of the lake in a hot, itchy cast. I felt so proud of this level-headed, sweet, smart girl, on the verge of her 12th summer.

Crazy as it sounds, I wouldn’t have traded those few stressful hours together for anything. We kept looking at each other and saying everything would be OK. And, at least this time, it looks like we were both right.

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