Living in Florida for 4 years and having a daddy who loves to surf, has ultimately given our girls an appreciation for the sport.

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So, it’s no surprise to Greg and I when each of their Barbies have at one time or another answered to the name of Bethany Hamilton. Bethany is the ultimate hero in our house. But if one is Bethany, they have to compromise, because having 2 Bethany’s is just not fair. So for a short time, they cooperate with one another and the other Barbie ends up being Stephanie Gilmore. The interesting part is that both Bethany AND Stephanie (their dolls) are missing their left arms. How coincidental.

What’s interesting about this though, is that on Sunday morning while Stefanie and Bethany Barbies were battling majestic waves, cars which ride through water at incredibly dangerous speed, and giant animals in the sea, Phoebe was complaining about her forearm.

REWIND TO FRIDAY NIGHT: where Abby and Phoebe were horsing around like they normally do. Abby gave Phoebe a little push and Phoebe tripped over her own feet. She ended up falling to the side but caught herself with her left arm.

The screaming and crying that followed was like none I’ve ever heard from her before. I have broken my arm/shoulder/elbow 3/4 times. instinctually, I know that scream and cry. But Greg checked her out. It wasn’t swollen at the time and didn’t appear to hurt her when Greg touched and moved it around. She seemed fine on Saturday. When we played a little tennis in the afternoon on Saturday, she mentioned it felt funny but didn’t really complain or anything.

When we finally got up and going on Sunday she told Greg it was really hurting her. He took a look and noticed swelling. And that’s when he and I both felt she needed to go to the ER. I wanted to go and so did Abby. Together, we helped her get into in the car and headed to the ER in Newport VT located approximately 1.5 miles from our campground.  2.5 hours and 3 X-rays later the Dr confirmed it was in fact broken. She was a trooper. The only time she cried was when the Dr told her she couldn’t swim for a while.

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And oh yeah, who can forget the male nurse who told her, her arm could develop “rot” if she didn’t take precautions to reduce the swelling. That made her cry. Hell, that almost made me cry. While he continued, I was giving him my best visual cues: eyebrows raised, eyes wide, lips tucked inward (uncomfortably) between my teeth, all the while gently shaking my head from side to side, and eventually shooting daggers through squinty eyes. Clearly he was oblivious to my visual HINTS. Phoebe was fine up until his little “pep talk” which was most likely meant for notorious “I could care less” teenage ears.

I had my arm around her and she was curled up next to me. I could see her big hazel eyes welling up with tears as she stared at me with each grotesque adjective he picked for his speech. I could also see Abby with her mouth agape and the look of absolute fear on her face. When the male Nurse of Doom and Gloom left us, she huddled in with Phoebe needing a little extra attention and assurance. They both needed to hear that Phoebe’s arm was in fact NOT going to rot off. Thank you Mr I get a kick out of scaring the crap out of young children Nurse.

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Phoebe was asking when she could return to the beach and surf again. I didn’t tell her the dreaded news of having to keep it on for a full 6 weeks. I thought the Nurse of Doom and Gloom did such a great job of scaring the crap out of her…I really wanted her to think good thoughts for the next hour at least. So I reminded her of their Barbies Bethany and Stephanie who were waiting at home ready to be played with adding too that she is now more like Bethany Hamilton than before. Sadly, it didn’t make a difference, she was so hung up on not being able to surf with daddy and of course, the possibility of her arm “rotting off”.

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Here we are on Thursday night (July 21st…7 weeks full-time, in case you were wondering) around 8:30 p.m. just getting home from the Dr. putting on the hard cast. Surprisingly she was a great patient. Luckily, we managed to avoid the Nurse of Doom and Gloom this evening. I thought we were for sure going to run into him. After the Dr. put the first cast on, he wasn’t happy with the tightness and the compromising position it left her little fingers in. so he had to get someone to “saw” it off. I felt it would almost certainly going to be you-know-who. Luckily it was Nurse of Positivity.

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Just now, when I went to retrieve a glass of H2O from our kitchen, I overheard Abby and Phoebe playing with Bethany and Stephanie: if you remember, the girls have removed both Barbies left arms. Both Bethany and Stephanie were getting casts put on their right arms. The casts were made of…drum roll please…wet toilet paper.


I was hoping our wet-toilet-paper days were behind us.

Amazingly enough, Bethany and Stephanie weren’t deterred. When the girls were finished bandaging their only working arm, they began to wet-toilet-paper their legs together.


Why didn’t I think of it…of course, they are both magical. OBVIOUSLY, they turn into mermaids.

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