Jenna Spangler's cast
UPSIDE: While Jenna’s “long leg” cast may be significantly slowing her down, her friend Ilese gave it an art treatment, Sharpie-ing on all of Jenna’s favorite things.

The sliding scale of danger

If you can break three bones on carpet, in a living room, inches off the ground, are we really worrying about the right things in life?

There’s a chance we don’t worry about the right things in life.

Exhibit A: Over Christmas, my 15-year-old daughter stepped onto a hoverboard belonging to the cousin of a cousin. No one’s entirely sure what happened next, but from mere inches off the ground, barely moving, she fell onto plush carpet, in a living room … and broke three bones.

We sat together in the emergency room and marveled at this turn of events, which managed to result in three spiral fractures just above her right ankle and earned her an overnight in the hospital, plus a turn in surgery. And a lot of pain meds.

She was a minor medical celebrity, as every nurse and doctor took one look at her X-ray and said something along the lines of, “WOW!” The X-ray technician told her, “Hey, you’re my first hoverboard injury! Congratulations!” Go big or go home, right? Be a legend or nothing.

Still, this happened at the annual crazy cousin sleepover. To be clear, these cousins have embarked on a lot more dangerous adventures together. Like the time the uncles pulled them on a poly tank lid behind the Ranger in the snow. All fine. Or the time we threw a crib mattress in a deer sled and rocketed down the sledding hill. Also, fine. Or countless adventures on four-wheelers and Rangers. Again, fine.

They’ve jumped on semi-monitored trampolines, handled thousand-pound-plus livestock, and tooled down the highway with the ink barely dry on their driver’s licenses.

And yet. Indoors. Next to a couch. Inches off the carpet. Three broken bones.

The good news: She’s young, she heals fast, it’ll all be fine. She’s not really one for “being still,” as she puts it, but this too shall pass.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to wonder whether we’re really worrying about the right things in life. And I think we all probably know the answer to that.

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