Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When Options Are Removed

Mariel broke her wrist while roller skating on Sunday afternoon. Monday morning I took her to the doctor and we got to see firsthand the carpals, metacarpals and phalanges we have been studying this year.

(The kids are still making fun of me for exclaiming over how beautifully graceful Mariel's humerus and ulna are. But I never saw an x-ray of her arm before. It just hit me hard that God made her so beautiful on the inside too. Mariel just rolled her eyes and said, "It's creepy, Mom." But this is not what I sat down to write. Ahem.)

As the doctor splinted and wrapped her hand, wrist and arm, I began to realize we were going to have to narrow her activities a bit for the next few weeks. The most obvious was violin and piano. (She already missed one violin lesson last week because the *previous* week she ran full force into a light pole at the park while racing with some friends, never stuck her hands out, and split her chin open. You hold a violin with your chin. Her chin has barely healed to scar status. We have been to Urgent Care twice in two and a half weeks.)

Boy, I am really getting off on tangents. Anyway, she and I started talking about some of the limits she would have, and I realized This Might Be A Good Thing.

(Bear with me. No, I don't think it's a good thing that she broke a bone. Yes, I do think the most important thing is that it heal properly and that she is comfortable. But right now I am looking at her injury from the perspective of learning.)

She has been developing independence in chores, for instance, which is definitely desirable. But for some time now I have realized a need for more training in certain areas. I have thought that we would take care of that training when things slowed down a bit and I had time to sit with her as she worked.

Funny how you all of a sudden have time when a child can no longer do her own laundry but still requires clean clothes. I have taken over her laundry, and am coaching her on putting it away neatly, since that is the only part she can do at this point.

Another area of habit-training has been in writing narrations. She has gotten good at doing her narrations on her own, but they are often not as detailed or dynamic as I have heard her narrate orally. For awhile I have thought we would sit down and deal specifically with content as I had more time.

But all she can do now is handwritten narrations or oral narrations. So we are going to be honing her relevant-and-orderly-content skill for the next few weeks, and leaving the skill of written communication alone.

And for a long time I have thought that she would enjoy learning to 'comp', to play some improvised chords under a melody on the piano or other instrument. Learning chord progressions is a great thing to work on when you have only one working hand.

Her violin teacher is working music theory, a little music history, and bowing with her, since she will most likely be unable to play for four to six weeks.

There are so many excellent things to learn in this world. I appreciate the freedom that comes of having some options removed and others highlighted.

Of course, this is overshadowed by the pain Mariel is in. I would rather have the necessary options highlighted *without* injury. But we will use whatever circumstance is sent to us for learning. :O)

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