Thumbs Down

I'm obsessed with thumbs. 

I can't stop worrying about my son's thumbs.

Especially his right one. It refuses to listen to me. It's stubborn and willful, defiant in it's rigid deformity. Every day and every morning, I take those thumbs, especially that right one and I hold it up to my lips and I kiss it. 

I whisper to the air around it, trying to coax it out of it's tightly held position and beg it to just open up. 

"Come on little piggy, you know you want to come to this market," I'll say. Right before stretching it wide open and holding my breath.

Did I break it?

Oh my god, I just broke my kid's thumb.

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.

Oh wait. No. Nope. Not broken.

Damn it. It was almost there. 


And then the circle repeats itself. Everyday. 

I wrestle those thumbs into neoprene and metal splints. I have nightmares about those thumbs. 

Maybe it's not about my son's thumbs. Not really. Not any more than it is about his feet that are so rigid we can no longer get them in splints. Or hips so tight they dislocate themselves with a diaper change.

Those thumbs, those contorted disfigured little pieces of bone and tissue represent it all. More. Everything. 

My inability to control his health, his future. His siblings stubborn insistence on growing older and the fact that soon, too soon, my son will be raised in a household without any big brothers or sisters around to pester or annoy. Time slips by and I can't keep up or hold on. Everything is changing. Nothing ever changes.

Those thumbs are my dreams refusing to be crowbarred into reality and yet declining to evaporate into the ether of forgotten and lost hopes.

Two little difficult digits that refuse to bend the way I want them to, the way Knox needs them to. Instead they twist and grow, following their own inclinations and desires.

I'm powerless to reverse and prevent the damage, no matter how many times I try and force them into conformity.

Those thumbs, his sweet little thumbs are him. They are his siblings. They are me.

I'm weary from worrying about the thumbs.

I need a thumb-cation.