A Cast and Larry-Boy
There was a time when God used an accident to create a situation for father-son bonding. When my oldest son was five he had an innocent-looking fall at the playground that resulted in a cast on his right arm from his elbow down.
As his father, even though I wasn’t there when it happened, I felt a certain level of shame when folks saw my little boy with a cast on his arm. Although it’s impossible to prevent these things, I thought I’d been remiss in my role as protector. Eventually I made peace with the realization that kids will be kids and accidents happen.
When I leapt that hurdle my attitude turned to gratitude because I live in a culture where doctors are nearby to correct the break and apply a cast to help the healing. I’m grateful God created our bodies with the capacity to heal.
Initially, my son was proud of his new plaster accessory. It was something new and it garnered a great deal of attention. As time passed, though, it was not new and more than a little frustrating to him.
So I had an idea, I would try my best to freehand a drawing on it. I was a nervous artist. If I messed up everyone would see the ink stain for weeks. I drew my best impression of Larry-Boy, one of the characters from Veggie Tales.
That large Larry-Boy on a little cast was a godsend. Suddenly the cast was “neat-oh” again.
People who were familiar with the cucumber gave a shout-out. People who were unfamiliar with the character asked who the “pickle guy” was. Nathan was connecting with complete strangers and friends alike.
My son was thrilled with his cast again. He made sure everyone noticed his little cast with the big drawing. He even was able to share his relationship with Jesus with a few folks because a story that started with talking about Larry-Boy can often end up in a conversation about Jesus.
God does use bad for good. As a parent I need to remember that (and sometimes be the one who points it out to my family). At the time, the last thing I wanted was a hurting son. But looking back, it became a wonderful event.
My son still has that cast. Maybe he will for the rest of his life. It represents a special time between father and son.
How do you handle hard situations with your children? Share your knowledge and let’s help each other. We love to hear from you!
By: Dave Trouten is the married father of two teenage boys and a Division Chair & Professor of Communication at Kingswood University.
Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.