Matthew climbed into bed. He pulled a fluffy blanket up to his chin. “Is Adam coming home from the hospital tomorrow?” he asked. Matthew hadn’t seen his younger brother since Adam broke his leg and went to the hospital to get a special cast.
“Yes!” Mom said. She tucked the blanket around Matthew. “He’ll need our help. He won’t be able to move around too much because of his cast.”
“How big is it?” asked Matthew.
“It goes all the way around his waist. And it covers all of his broken leg and half of his other leg.”
“Whoa,” Matthew said. “That sounds bad.”
“It will be pretty hard for him.” Mom turned off the light. “But if we look for small and simple ways to serve him, we can help him be happy.”
Matthew was tired, but he couldn’t go to sleep. He kept thinking about all the things Adam couldn’t do in his cast. He won’t be able to play tag or hide-and-seek. Someone will have to carry him to his bed and the couch. He finally fell asleep thinking of ways he could try to help.
After school the next day, Matthew ran home from the bus stop. “Welcome home, little buddy!” Matthew yelled as he ran inside.
Adam was sitting on the couch in the family room. Matthew gave him a big hug. Adam’s cast was bright green, and it rubbed against Matthew’s arms. It was hard and scratchy.
Matthew felt sad for his brother. The cast was so big!
“So … do you want to play with me?” Matthew asked.
Adam frowned and looked down at his cast. “I can’t.”
“Sure you can! I’ll be right back.” Matthew gathered up Adam’s favorite games and toys and took them to the family room. He sat on the couch next to Adam. “We can play cars or a board game. Then maybe Dad can get your wheelchair and we can all go for a walk before dinner.”
“OK!” Adam smiled wide. “And we can play with this!” He pulled a brown teddy bear from underneath his blanket. “His name is Ruff. I got him at the hospital.”
“Awesome!” Matthew grabbed a bucket of cars. Together they turned the couch into a racetrack with giant pillow mountains and a bear cave for Ruff. They had lots of fun!
Matthew did lots of little things to help his brother. When the cast was making Adam uncomfortable, Matthew helped him move around. When Adam asked for a snack, he brought graham crackers and milk to share. They were playing a board game when Mom walked in the room.
“It looks like you’re having fun,” she said.
“Yeah!” Adam smiled. “This is the best game day ever!”
Mom hugged Matthew. “Thanks,” she whispered.
“I thought about what you said last night, about the small and simple things,” Matthew said. Then he laughed. “But there’s just one problem.”
“What’s that?” asked Mom.
“My little buddy has turned into a turtle!”
They all looked at Adam’s big green cast. Adam laughed. “I am a big green turtle!” he said.
Mom hugged Adam. “You’re the cutest turtle I’ve ever seen.”