Sunday, April 29, 2012


For the third time this year, my middle child is on crutches.

Crushed between the heavy pressure of indomitable Rowan and adorable Mikalh, Devin is somehow the one who Life chooses out to be repeatedly bent, broken, biffed, and deprived of what he had in mind. Earlier this year it was a sledding injury to his knee cap. While on crutches, he slipped on the ice and got a concussion. Later, he landed straight down on his leg while playing football with his dad and pinched a muscle. This time the damage was a torn muscle to the inside of his leg, a soccer injury.

The result of this latest, unfortunately, was that he missed a hike on his sixth grade field trip that was composed almost completely of that hike and instead spent the day sitting at a visitor's center waiting with his dad and munching beef jerky. This was because his mother (me) had looked absently at the hot lunch calendar that morning and told him he had a hot lunch, without connecting this with the fact that he would be at a national park all day. Another unfortunate result of this injury was that he missed the final game of the competitive season. He plays center mid, in general–a key position–and his team had to play without him. They had held their own this season and won four of seven games. This last would put them into the "won more than we lost" category, a major source of pride in a team's first competitive year. Instead, in his absence, they were mercy ruled when the score reached an eight point spread against them in the second half. As he told me what had happened, a quiet tear rolled down his cheek.

We are scheduled to go to Durango for Mother's Day weekend, where last year his team won the boys' tournament. This year, he was told there was some hope that, with luck, he might play keeper, but, almost certainly not center mid. The hits just keep on coming. Exhausted and in pain at the end of each day, Devin collapses on the couch, and tries to recoup before launching into his mountains of homework.

Devin is my hero. I am not sure why Life wants to keep testing him, but I am sure he is being prepared for something great. Those of us who have had to pass through fire, step out, catch our breath and then run from suddenly approaching tigers know that, by the end, if we have done it right, we are forged in strength and something even better. We are people of compassion. Devin is, by nature, the most compassionate and loving person I have ever met. Gentle with animals, tender with babies, forgiving of enemies and friends, Devin is one of the few sixth graders I know of whom I would say, if they were accused of any bullying, that there simply had to be a mistake. It is just not in his nature.

I insisted on taking his photo because, I told him, if we did not have a photo of him on crutches, we simply could not accurately reflect our year when I go to make a 2012 album.

I intended to photograph the crutches, but what I will remember is the smile.


  1. He's lovely. Boys, love 'em.
    I wonder sometimes at my boys not having broken anything, yet (16 and 23yrs) and I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

    1. You know, the only one who has broken a bone is my little day dreamer. All these other are soft tissue injuries. It's a wonder any of them survive.

  2. Having raised three boys who seemed to consider themselves stars of their very own action movies, I consider myself lucky to have had so few visits to the emergency room over the years. I do find it interesting that your middle boy is plagued by the injuries, because it was my middle boy who sent us to the emergency room the most of our three as well.

  3. I see he kept the added padding.


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