Family column: A break that's been far from relaxing for all!

Darren Burke's son enjoyed a break of a different kind.
Darren Burke's son enjoyed a break of a different kind.

Well, it has been a lively few weeks in our house.

And that’s because since my last musings, my eldest son has managed to shatter his arm in three places.

In fairness, it wasn’t his fault. He was tackled playing rugby at school, ended up falling awkwardly and then the next thing we knew, he was being X-rayed, bandaged up and stuck in a cast at our local A&E department.

It is the first time he’s broken a bone and so naturally, is milking it for all its worth.

“Can you just get me...,” “can I have....” and “my arm’s hurting...will you...?” are currently the catchphrases that are the order of the day and can be oft-repeated.

However, to give the lad some credit where its due, he’s not moaned once about being potted up, fortunately isn’t in any pain and hasn’t missed a day at school.

He’s been getting on with life and trying to go about his everyday tasks as best he can, doing his homework, meeting up with mates outside school and yes, still managing to keep in touch with the outside world by messaging his pals on Instagram.

It seems his fingers work perfectly well if there’s an exciting new video to watch on YouTube, but suddenly start mysteriously aching should the pots need clearing away after tea!

The down side is that it has ruled him out of playing for his junior football team until the New Year at the earliest - but again, he’s refusing to be bowed by his injury, keeping his foot in but booting a ball gently against the wall after school and even getting up super early on Sunday mornings to go along and see his team-mates play, even though he’s confined to the sidelines.

Touch wood, the only break I’ve ever had was a broken toe when I was a similar age, way back in the 1980s.

I’d like to say my injury was caused by something dramatic like wrestling bears or rock climbing, when the reality was I slipped and smashed it into the side of my parents’ sofa.

With it being my toe, there wasn’t a lot they could do with it and it was simply strapped to my other toe and left to mend on its own.

Obviously, I didn’t use the situation to my advantage at all.

“Come on boys,” my school sports teacher would say, “cross country run today!”

“I’d love to sir, but I think my toe isn’t quite better yet....”

And I’d be packed off to ‘study’ (which in reality involved giggling at the cartoons in old copies of Punch) in the warmth of the school library while my scowling and quite rightly, disbelieving mates, would glare at me resentfully before being marched out into the freezing sleet and gales of January in Yorkshire for an hour’s worth of lung-busting, mud-splattered hell.

Now, obviously I’m not advocating such slack behaviour, but I’ll be interested to see if my teen, who doesn’t even like rugby anyway, will be back on the school pitch as soon as the cast is off or his teachers will be hearing the cry of “sir, my arm hurts..,” as winter kicks in!