Well, I've got lots of ideas to go on with now. Thanks everyone.
One thing that my mum suggested was a dedicated 'Sam' post each week, which I think is a damn fine idea! It will (hopefully) force me to dig through some of those memories of mine! I'll aim for a Monday post, but you know what I'm like....
Jaimee asked about Sam's broken arm. I have posted a little about it, but I thought it would be a good place to start, seeing as it's late on my first Monday back at work!
So today I chronicle the broken Sam!
I was always amazed when Samuel hurt himself. He was such a careful kid. He never went on roller coasters or rides, he didn't take risks (apart from his wheel-based hobbies, which I'll talk about another time), and liked to keep his feet on the ground.
Funnily enough, I kind of expected it from Oliver. From the time he could walk, he ran; and was always on the go. For a while we called him 'Hurricane Ollie', and people would make comments about his energy (which has ended up with him being quite sporty, which is OK); so I always expected him to be the one with broken bits and the occasional stitch. But no, it was Sam.
I think his first major fall was when he was quite young; still a toddler. I wasn't there and only heard about it later, but he was at Anthony's mum's house and actually fell off a chair and through a window! God knows how that happened! Luckily he wasn't very hurt, but perhaps we should have seen that as a sign of things to come??
The first one that I can remember happened at his friend Patrick's house. He was about 4, and they had been playing on the bed when Samuel fell off and hit his head on the door handle, ending up with a small gash on his scalp. He went of to A&E and ended up with a bit of glue on his head, that from what I can remember, he was quite proud of!
He had his share of bumps, bruises and grazes over time. He did, after all, come from my loins, and I am not always the most coordinated of folks! He was forever stubbing his toe on one thing or another, and for a while, he was (I'm ashamed to say) quite funny when he hurt himself. Instead of crying or sitting down to rest whatever he'd hurt, he tended to run up and down angrily, making a lot of noise. We'd laugh a bit, which would only make him more angry. But eventually he'd calm down enough for some first aid.
Sam broke his arm on Canberra Day(18th March) in 2007, less than 3 weeks after his 11th birthday. We had gone to a local park for a picnic dinner. The boys went off to play while I got busy getting things organised. The big boys were playing on a big twirly thing that you have to hang on to while it spins around. Anthony was swinging Samuel around, getting faster and faster. Samuel was starting to protest when he fell off, landing on his arm.
At first I thought he'd just sprained it, but it kept swelling and swelling. So we packed ourselves up and headed for A&E (we hadn't actually eaten our dinner at this time). Several hours later, Sam had been x-rayed and slinged (slung?) with instructions to front up for plaster the next day. By then he was starving, so I remember taking him to one of those caravans that sell greasy hot food and buying him a very late dinner on the way home.
He was very brave throughout it all, even when the doctor told him he might need surgery. In fact, I think (apart from the pain) he kind of enjoyed the whole thing. He got lots of attention, got to get out of some school work (why do they always break the hand they write with??), but otherwise didn't have to miss out on too much.
When he got the cast off, he insisted on keeping it (perhaps because of all the signatures on it). It STUNK, but we wrapped it up in plastic bags and shoved it in the cupboard.
I can't remember when we threw it out, but I haven't seen it for a while. So we must have...
I thought things were going quite well until April 2008. I sent Samuel outside to get some washing off the line (as I have said before, I am very happy to put my children to work!)
He came back in not long after, saying he'd hurt his leg. He pulled up his pants leg to reveal that he'd taken all of the layers of skin off a good part of his thigh. I'm not good with that sort of thing, and nearly barfed, but managed to pull myself together enough to take him up to the A&E department again. He was extremely brave, despite having local anesthetic inserted and 10 stitches. Which he was very happy to show off:
But that was Sam, good-natured through all sorts of hardships.
It was his last major injury, but not the last trip to the emergency department.
For his 12th birthday, Samuel decided to go ice skating with two of his closest friends. He'd never been before and was pretty excited.
Anthony took the boys to the rink while I did stuff at home. About half an hour after they had left, he called me to say they were going to the hospital. But it wasn't Sam this time, it was his friend. They had been on the ice for only 5 minutes when his friend fell, jabbing his skate into his calf.
By the time I got to the hospital, Anthony still hadn't been able to get in touch with his parents, so we tried hard to comfort him, while he insisted that he 'was not getting stitches'. Eventually his grandmother arrived and we were off the hook, but needless to say it was an eventful birthday for Sam.
I guess, all in all, he didn't have too bad a run. I know many kids who have broken several bones and had many stitches, so I guess one of each wasn't too bad.
And that's the story of my broken boy. Of course now I realise that he didn't really have to be so careful. It wasn't misadventure that killed him after all. But I'm not going to dwell on that.
Clumsy as he was, he was my clumsy boy. And I loved (love) him very much.