I found my daughter going through the hall closet throwing all the summer hats on to the floor. Where is my ski thingy? You know the one that covers my head so only my eyes are showing? My balalava?”
Your balaclava? It’s in the basement for when it snows.“ I’m about to ask why but then I take one look at her long sleeves, her long pants and her bike helmet and I realize that she is searching out protective gear for practicing her new skill of riding a two-wheeler.
The scratch on her face explains the need for the balaclava, the unseen bruises on her legs, and body tell the story of her summer: learning to ride a two-wheeler; summer camp; ninja tag; jumping off the highest step and many slapstick-level falls. Her brothers haven’t fared much better, their legs are bruised, dinged and scratched. My seven year-old has a scratch from his elbow to armpit; I have no idea how he scratched himself I just know that it’s there.
All these injuries came with a minimal of tears or whines. I’m sure when you look at your kids it is the same thing. Obviously you grow out of being injury-prone, which must also be the point when you grow out of being able to get a skinned knee and then keep going, or get a bruise the size of chocolate chip cookie on your butt and not even notice. Because let me tell you if I fall down and hurt myself I don’t shake it off and keep going. I whine, I stop and I may not even try it again.
But I don’t fall down to often, I don’t get bruises and not so coincidentally I don’t try new physical things. But kids try new things all the time. Sometimes they are forced to but very often they want to, they want to ride the two-wheeler, and jump off the top step.
Kids are brave. My kids show more courage than me almost everyday.
And now, I have to pull out a splinter the size of a chopstick out of my kid’s toe while she sleeps.