We sat on stools at the island in our kitchen. I lay down a towel — I don’t know why. I guess I thought it would be messy (and also smelly… ew).
Lily rested her elbow on the counter and started picking at an edge of bandaging. “I can do it!” she insisted.
I don’t know why, but I had this weird feeling that I needed to be the one to take the cast off. I thought for sure it was going to hurt a bit when she took it off for the first time. I remembered that I had declined to attend a party out of town, in part so I could be home to take off the cast. Am I one of those crazy moms? I wondered briefly.
I held back and let her tug at the edge. She had managed to get her fingers under a tiny corner. After a few moments, I joined in. The bandage, which had formed her water-proof cast on her right arm for the past few weeks, was stiff, but peeled back pretty easily – like pulling the tape off of a cardboard box. I had expected it to break off in bits in pieces, like paper mache, but instead it was more like peeling a banana.
It didn’t take long. I had been bracing myself for her arm to look the way my brother’s had looked when he had one his numerous casts taken off as a kid. (He was constantly in the emergency room). His skin was always shriveled and flakey, ghostly white from being hidden from the sun for so long. But Lily had only needed to wear hers for a few weeks. Aside from a tan line, it was as if the broken wrist had never happened.
“Can I have an ice cream sandwich?” she asked immediately. I didn’t answer right away. I was too busy inspecting her arm, her fingers, her wrist. I poked and pulled, twisted and pressed, making sure everything was working, nothing was hurting. “Hmm… how does this feel? Does it hurt?”
“Moommmm. Can. I. Have. An. Ice. Cream. Sandwich.” Lily was losing her patience with me.
“What? No – you already had one.” And with that, we were done. No more cast, no more broken wrist. All better.