They say, don’t they, that there is always somebody worse off than you. Just knowing this, the inference is, should make you feel a whole lot better.
Except, that is, when it’s somebody you love. Except, that is, when it’s a much-beloved grandson who doesn’t deserve to be dealt with disaster. Especially not at Cub Camp.
As a bit of background, I need to explain that I spent the last two days, especially yesterday, feeling pretty sorry for myself. It’s only a summer cold, I keep telling myself, which is no worse
than a winter cold apart from the fact that the usual remedies, like hot lemon and honey, just make you feel even hotter and stickier, while for the same reasons there would be absolutely no comfort in cuddling up under the duvet with a hot water bottle.
I don’t very often suffer with a cold but when I do it always follows the same, inexorable, course, from the first sign (constant sneezing - drives Mr B bananas!),
through to the dry throat, the cough, the headache, the general feeling of dizziness before I finally emerge, like a butterfly from its chrysalis, feeling suddenly All Better. It is well to remind myself, while undergoing the middle phases, that there will
be an end to all this. This Positive Thinking doesn’t always stop me feeling sorry for myself which isn’t a good look.
Then, late on in the day, I
heard of my grandson James’s misfortune, news accompanied by a sad photo of the invalid looking (quite justifiably in his case) pretty sorry for himself and sporting a sling on his right arm which has been put in plaster from wrist to well above the
elbow. X-rays have not been able to confirm whether the arm is broken or not, so Our Wounded Hero will have to go back to hospital on Thursday for more investigations.
Today I checked in with all three of my (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys - of whom James the Unfortunate is the middle child - to gather their own versions of events. I am especially keen to assure the poorly one that I think he is a veritable hero,
having heard from his mother, the Darling Daughter-in-Law, that he has been stoic in misfortune, insisting on dressing himself for school unaided this morning including putting on his socks one-handed which is a Considerable Feat. Or feet, if you so wish.
I speak first to six-year-old Morgan who is keen to disabuse me of my belief that the accident which has befallen his brother is a Total Disaster. Having one’s right
arm in plaster, he points out, means that a person is unable to do any work at school which is, in his opinion and that of older brother Sam, A Good Thing. As is often the case in discussions with Young Morgan, I find myself unable to mount a sensible counter-argument.
The Wounded One is next on the phone and explains exactly what happened, where and when. It’s a somewhat succinct account because dinner is due on the table any moment
and he doesn’t want it to get cold. It’s such a pity, I say, that Cub Camp ended so badly for him. Basically (he says) he was on a Bucking Bronco which threw him off (which is, after all, what Bucking Broncos are supposed to do) and he landed awkwardly
(which is not what you are supposed to do.) I wince at the other end of the phone but he can’t see me so that doesn’t count.
Finally I talk to Sam
the Eldest, who is interested to hear that, despite reaching my current Great Age, I have only ever broken one bone in my body which was - wait for it, I tell him - a toe. I can tell that my grandson isn’t sure whether to chortle or commiserate. It happened
on a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night when my toe had an unfortunate encounter with some stepladders which had been left on the landing. Which is certainly less note-worthy than falling off a Bucking Bronco.
I have all my fingers crossed that Thursday will bring good news on the Elbow Front but I feel so very sorry for my poor, stoic James. In fact, taking a leaf out of Young Morgan’s book and looking
for the positives I can think of only one -
It’s stopped me feeling sorry for myself.