Saturday, May 03, 2008


I'm a wuss. I know this when I watch my boys running full out, trip and fall and skin their knee, then shrug it off and start running again. If that happened to me, I think I'd grab my knee as if I'd just torn my ACL and roll around screaming before curling into the fetal position.

I don't think I was always this way. I can recall several incidents that seem to indicate I once had some toughness:

-I stepped on a nail that as I recall was about two inches long (but in reality it was probably a quarter of an inch or so) that was sticking out of a board and it sunk all the way into my heel. I took one step and the board stuck to my foot. I shook it, but that didn’t feel too good so I quickly reached down and yanked the board off. I didn’t cry, even when my mom put the hydrogen peroxide on it.

-In Little League, I somehow developed an awkward sliding form so that every time I slid I ripped open my sock and the skin right where the foot connects to the leg. I did this at least once a week and sometimes more than once in a game, but despite the constant scab there and tender skin I never hesitated to slide and once again rip it open. Once the baseball season ended a sported a nice raised area of skin matching the hole that was usually there, but eventually it went away.

-I got hit in the head very close to the temple with a baseball when I was in seventh or eighth grade. I fell sprawled on the ground and couldn’t move for what seemed like a minute, but was probably only about ten seconds. My dad and others immediately appeared above me asking if I was ok, but I couldn’t move or answer. My dad to this day says it was awful because there was a loud thud when the ball hit my head. The next day I had a horrendous headache and couldn’t turn my head at all, but I went to school anyway My friends found it amusing to yell my name and watch me wince in pain when, by natural reaction, I tried to turn my head and look. The headache gradually got better but lasted over a week.

-I got a sunburn so bad that the next day I had water blisters all over my upper body, including several very large ones (I particularly remember one that started near my neck on the front side of my shoulder and ran over the shoulder to the back side). However, my dad said I did this to myself and it wasn’t an excuse to miss a baseball game, so I played the game and every move I made caused the jersey to scrape across my burnt skin. It was quickly soaked, not with sweat but from broken water blisters, including that huge one on my shoulder.

Ok, that last one wasn’t quite as painful as the others, but it was really gross. Then there’s the usual bike wrecks, stubbed toes, cracked heads from playing pickup games of tackle football, and plenty more that go along with being a kid. How would I handle these any of these today? Hard to say – I’m not about to take off the bubble wrap and find out.


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