Everything has a way of working out
My 11-year-old son had a splinter in his finger.
He had just come home from playing baseball at his friend’s house where he’d spent several hours. He had ridden his bike the half mile or so.
I was so happy about this because
- Getting the bike out of the shed where it was for the winter is a springtime thing to do. (Spring is coming – it always does, eventually!)
- The mere idea that he planned and executed this get-together without my involvement – using the house telephone to call his friend – brought back happy, nostalgic memories of the ’70s when I would have done the same.
I asked him where his bike was and he said, “In the front.”
“You need to put it back in the shed, honey.”
“I’ll put it in the garage.”
“There’s no room with your hockey project in there.” (He’s in the middle of building an indoor/outdoor target practice thing with his dad that involves wood frames and a tarp.) “Unless you want to put your project in the shed…?”
When he returned from the shed, he had the splinter.
“Do you think that’s a splinter, Mom?” He showed me his finger.
“Awwww! Dang!” Immediately he began worrying.
“How do I get this out?”
Not liking my answer about a match, a pin, and minor surgery, he replied, “What happens if we don’t take it out?”
“It will fester and possibly get infected. One way or another it has to come out.”
“Okay! But let me try getting it out first.”
“The pins are in my sewing kit.” I didn’t get up from my desk.
He came back a short while later and announced that he’d removed half of it with tweezers.
“That’s great hon!”
He showed my husband, who asked, “Do you want me to work on it? Go get an alcohol wipe.”
I am sure my son was reluctant, but he let my husband doctor him until he couldn’t take anymore digging.
“Hon, you’re obsessing.”
“You can put ice on it and then you won’t feel it being removed. Or, you could go soak your finger in Epsom salts and then put Neosporin and a Band-Aid on it. That will soften the skin and it will be easier to get at. Maybe it will even slide right out…”
He disappeared again and I could hear him rummaging around in the first aid bin that I keep on the stop shelf of the bathroom closet.
Things were quiet for a while, then I heard him playing the piano.
I figured if he could do that, the splinter probably wasn’t too bothersome.
At bedtime, I asked him, “Where’s the Band-Aid. Did you get the splinter out?”
“It wouldn’t stay on.” (I hoped it was in the trash.)
“Maybe you had too much goop under it.”
He frowned, “I really want this to come out…”
“I know how you feel. Why don’t you try again with the Band-Aid. All that digging surely must have made a nice little channel for the splinter. If you soften the skin, it will have a better chance of sliding out on its own. Your body doesn’t want that splinter in there either. Just give it a little time. I am sure it will work its way out.”
There was a period of intense angst when he couldn’t find the tube of Neosporin.
“No, I can’t help you. I have no idea where you left it.”
“No, you’re not dumb or stupid, just think about what you did with it.”
Eventually he found it and re-bandaged his finger.
The next morning at breakfast, I cringed when my husband brought it up. My son, who was still foggy from sleeping and hadn’t remembered the splinter until that moment, rolled his eyes.
After breakfast, he deposited his dishes in the sink and went up to take his usual loooooooooong shower.
Fifteen minutes later, he came back downstairs and announced, beaming, “The splinter is gone!”
“I’m so glad to hear that, hon – What great news! Here’s your lunchbox. You’ve got three minutes to get out the door!”
The moral of this story is, everything has a way of working out when you
- don’t obsess
- are open to a solution
- give it time
- make a way for it to happen!