Caleb Finds A Fist

As a parent, I have learned many times over that what may seem to be a small victory is actually a huge triumph. I am not just talking about going to the grocery store and having the wheels on your buggy being able to move (and all in the same direction). I am not even talking about driving on the expressway and witnessing a cop pull over the Jeff Gordon wannabe who just whipped around you at what had to be 110 MPH (because you KNOW you were doing like 75). I am talking about something huge, monstrous, titanic, herculean, colossal and….well you get the point and I have run out of adjective named after Greek gods. Allow me to explain this more thoroughly.
My younger son, Caleb, was born with a condition called syndactyly. Syndactyly is a condition where two or more digits on the hands or feet are webbed together. Caleb had a pair of toes partially webbed together on each foot. He also had a pair of digits partially webbed together on one hand. The other hand had a pair of digits that were completely webbed together. This is a hereditary condition. As it turns out, Caleb inherited this condition from my side of the family. I only found this out after I was discussing Caleb’s condition with my mother. My mother had two toes that were webbed together. I never knew that until Caleb was born. It may seem strange to some of you that I did not know this before but how many of you go out of your way to look at your mother’s feet?
Caleb had multiple surgeries over the years to help correct the syndactyly. The surgery initially involved separating the affected digits and grafting skin from other areas of his body to help these digits heal and grow. The reason why this surgery had to be done several times is that the scar tissue would cause his fingers to contract as his bones grew. The scar tissue would also cause the nails of the affected fingers to be offset slightly to the side.
Several months ago, at the age of 18, Caleb had yet another surgery to help the fingers gain more mobility and to reset the fingernail. This surgery also involved the placement of a titanium pin into one of the fingers on his left hand. This was to help straighten the finger which had become contracted somewhat. After several weeks the pin was removed and Caleb began adjusting to his post operative freedom of movement.
It should be note at this point that Caleb’s personality and demeanor is somewhat passive. He is not a wimp by any means but at the same time he is not one I have to worry about bullying some kid for his lunch money. I was sitting in my room one night and Caleb walked in. Without saying a word, he faced his mother and me and made a fist with his left hand. This struck me unusual for two reasons. First of all, Caleb is right handed. Secondly, when he made this left handed fist, he had a look on his face as if he were posing for a heavy metal music magazine. He then proudly announced: “I CAN MAKE A FIST!” This is something he had never been able to do before with his left hand. He was now doing it for the first time in 18 years. That son of mine could not have been happier if he had beaten Sonic the Hedgehog in the 50 yard dash. There’s not even a Greek god derived adjective to describe it.


4 thoughts on “Caleb Finds A Fist

  1. Well, Jari, since you have decided to pick apart my story, I am going to visit our neighbor across the hall.(Knock..Knock..Knock) Penny? (Knock..Knock..Knock) Penny? (Knock..Knock..Knock) Penny? BAZINGA!

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