In second grade I broke my arm.
I was innocently playing on the playground, when I noticed that some of the other kids were doing something on the monkey bars. Something I had never done before.
The would jump and skip a bar or two before beginning to swing across.
That was cool.
I needed to learn how to do it.
I watched for a little while longer.
It looked relatively simple. So I did what every other seven-year-old ultra-competitive girl would do; I scaled the ladder and prepped myself for launch.
I bent my knees slightly and focused my eyes on my target; the second bar into the monkey bars.
At this point, before the jump, I would just like to remind you that I have never been tall. I’m done growing and only stand at 5′ 3″ today. I was a pretty small second grader. The second bar in was a pretty long way away for me.
I jumped off of the ladder and stretched my arms out towards the bar. My fingers brushed the cold metal, and … I missed.
I frantically tried to grab it, but gravity betrayed me. In my attempt to break my fall, I reached out my right arm.
I didn’t break the fall. I broke the arm.
I started crying, and one of my friends helped me into the Nurse’s Office. The Nurse had me wiggle my fingers.
That really hurt.
The Nurse had me move my arm up and down and side to side.
That really hurt.
The Nurse couldn’t legally give me anything for the pain. She did what she could; she elevated my arm, iced it, and called Mom.
Mom came quickly. She took one look at me and got me into the car.
We drove to the Doctor’s Office. The Doctor took one look at my arm and told us it was broken. He sent us across the street to the hospital to get it x-rayed.
Sure enough, it was broken.
We went back to the Doctor’s Office to get it casted. The Doctor looked through the drawer of casting and asked me what color I wanted.
I, of course, wanted pink.
There was no pink.
I was sad about that.
The Doctor talked to the hospital across the street. They had pink.
He traded his red casting for their pink casting, and we casted up my arm. As he worked, he explained to me why we cast broken bones; to keep them still so they’ll knit back together properly.
He told me I’d probably only need the cast for three or four weeks, because I was young so my bones would heal faster.
He finished casting and made me a bow out of the remaining material.
We went home. I hit myself in the face with my cast about five times that night. It wasn’t fun.
When we told some of our family friends, one of their sons, who was three at the time, misunderstood and declared at the dinner table, “The monkeys broke her arm!” Those darn monkey bars. The monkeys get crazy.
The Doctor was right. I had the cast on for four weeks.
I got it buzzed off and whined my Mom into letting me keep the cast.
My little chicken arm got some meat and muscle on it pretty quick, and I haven’t broken a bone since.
I steered clear of the monkey bars for a while after that, though.
I do still have both my cast and the bow, though:
See? Look at the size of that cast. I was a small second grader.