Broken Arms

When I was in first grade, a kid named Carson broke his leg. Everyone in our class was jealous. Not only Carson have a wheelchair – which beat walking in the minds of his fellow classmates – but he also had a big white cast on his leg. It seemed like everyone in the school and all the teachers signed his cast. I remember signing my name during recess a day or two after he returned to school. At the time it seemed like a privilege to be able to sign it though I can’t remember why I felt that way. Maybe it was because it was the cool thing to do. In third grade a girl named Stacy broke her arm. One morning she showed up with a big white cast on her arm. Of course the entire class had to hear the story of how she broke her arm and then sign the cast. I had a crush on Stacy so I signed my name in big letters in a spot where she would always see it and, hopefully, think of me.  Stacy wasn’t amused that I signed my name so big. “You have to leave room for the other kids to sign,” I remember her telling me. I think my crush on Stacy ended soon after that comment.

I didn’t realize how much casts have changed until yesterday. Aidan broke his arm Saturday night (long story, I’ll write about it later). It was a very minor fracture near his elbow and there was some debate among the doctors whether or not his arm was actually broken. Upon seeing a specialist yesterday the verdict came back that, yes, his arm was indeed broken and he needed to wear a cast for three weeks.

While we were in the waiting room there were a half dozen other kids with casts on their arms. One girl had a pink cast. One of the boys had a lime green one. Another boy had a blue one. Designer casts. Cool. When it came turn for Aidan to pick his color the doctor had at least a dozen colors for him to choose from. Aidan picked orange – his favorite color.

It didn’t hit me until on the drive home from the hospital that not one of the kids in the waiting room with casts on their arm had any names written on their casts. The cast material they use nowadays is so different from white ones I remember as a kid and is difficult to write on. Of course they have color options now and they seem so much cooler than those white ones. It does make me wonder, however, if kids still try to sign their names on them anymore.