The Door Wasn’t Even Locked

My nearly five-year-old son, Beau, broke his leg recently. He has been in a full cast of plaster, for five weeks now. As the weeks have dragged on and boredom has well and truly set in, he has become increasingly more resistant to the limitations of his plaster. Beau’s desire to move and play has been stronger than his understanding of the plaster’s intention to keep him still, to help him heal. So, I’ve watched him bum shuffle. Drag his plaster around the floor. Crawl on all fours. Now hobbling at times. Despite my constant pleas to not move. Despite the constant chorus of me saying, ‘Beau, don’t put pressure on that plaster. Slow down.’ He finds a way. No injury. No plaster, will stop him from living his best life. 

As I watched him last night, crawling on all fours and kicking his Melbourne Demon’s football using his plaster, I started to think.

How many times in our lives do we let a perceived plaster, injury or limitation allow us to remain caged, immobile and stultified?

What if we allowed desire to be stronger than our barriers? 

Glennon Doyle described it so well in Untamed, when she explained, 

‘What was wrong with me? Why did I stay and suffer? The door wasn’t even locked.’

I keep thinking, after the plaster is off, we will do this and be able to do that. Beau just does what he can, now. He finds a way. I told him he couldn’t move with the plaster, without me carrying him or the wheelchair. He didn’t listen to me, but instead listened to his own deep desire within, to move, to kick his footy and found a way.

I feel inspired by Beau’s determination, but equally disappointed that our wild natures get tamed. As we grow, we see what we can’t do, what is restricting us, rather than the opportunities. Our fear becomes stronger than our desire. Our fear becomes stronger than our love. Love for simple things, like kicking a footy. 

So, I’m letting Beau teach me. I’m learning the wisdom of my wild child. When I feel like I can’t, I’ll think of a blonde-haired boy, kicking his Melbourne Demon’s football in a full cast of plaster. I’ll be reminded. We can all find the determination to live our dream lives with such wild desire. 

I’ll be reminded. When I said the door was closed. Beau tested the handle and realised, it wasn’t even locked. 

By Farrah B. Mandala

I am Farrah B. Mandala, the author of Mad Woman Rocking. I live in an off-grid, eco cabin in the Australian bush, on my family’s dairy farm at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. I am an English Teacher and live with my 5 year old son.

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