Thursday, April 24, 2003

Art therapy for my five year old nephew, Ben, who has proved just how adaptable kids are.

We've been careful with him, getting him used to his new-look uncle slowly so as not to scare him.

When I was in hospital I kept Mr S tucked beneath a blanket so he couldn't see it. We just wanted him to know I was still the same person as before.

When I was discharged I kept the plaster cast hidden under my trouser leg. I asked him if he wanted to look at the cast but he backed off, afraid of the unknown. Aileen came up with the brilliant idea of drawing a face on the cast to make it more approachable. Within minutes, Ben had got his felt tip pen out and was happily writing his name on it.

Now, a week after the cast was removed, you'd have thought nothing had happened. When he comes over he gleefully shouts "UNCLE STUART HAS ONLY GOT ONE FOOT. THE OTHER ONE WAS BLOWN OFF IN THE WAR. HA! HA! HA! HA!" He's right, of course, and it doesn't seem to bother him one bit.

In fact, he's even drawn a picture of me, on crutches, complete with missing foot. I like the fact that he's drawn me with a smiley face.

Discuss Northern Iraq -- and Beyond


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