Posted in childhood, family, life

Playing It Safe

Most kids can rattle off a litany of injuries suffered as children. A laundry list of broken bones and a multitude of trips to the ER.

It’s a kid soundtrack. And it’s loud. Usually.

Between the 3 of us. My brother, sister and I had a total of 2 broken bones.
2. At the most.
The kids were winning in our corner.
Because we played it safe.
My brother once had a broken wrist. I think. From skateboarding. The bicycle? Jumping off something he shouldn’t have? He jumped.

He used a ballpoint pen to scratch inside his cast. It was the summer and I felt sorry for him.

My sister sprained her ankle when she was 17. On pointe. Dancing.
I broke the ring finger on my left hand.
I flipped over my bike while riding in NYC. I was about 35. That doesn’t count. At all.
When we were about 4, 6 and 9 my parents were at the neighbor’s house one evening. For Tupperware or adult conversation I suppose. While they were gone my sister hit her head against our giant tv.
A half step away from the emergency room. On the scale of bad about a 7 1/2.
We were playing. Jumping around on the gold shag carpet. After dinner. Jumping off the couch. On the couch.
We would stand on the couch arms and pretend to surf. To the Hawaii 5-0 theme song when it came on TV.
And when it wasn’t on TV.
Then my sister hit her head and sucked the fun right out of the living room. We were sorry.
It was a group effort.
My brother and I suffered the consequences.


Look. Be careful. You have to. Wash your hands. Take your Flinstones vitamin.
Look both ways. Wear a hat and gloves. Don’t talk to strangers. Beware of lightning. And electricity. If you can’t touch the bottom hold on the to side. Kick your feet. No eye contact. Just keep moving. Your name is sewn into your jacket. Hands at 10 and 2. Don’t forget.
When the Jehovah’s Witnesses come to the door… Hide. Turn off the lights. Let’s face it. Because. It’s weird. Those boys look nice in their white shirts They ride bikes. But. You can’t take any chances. You just never know.
On Saturdays my brother, sister and me would watch wrestling on tv. For inspiration.
And then we would toss each other around the living room. Just like one of those wrestling guys. It was pretend anyway. We just knew it.


 My father’s job when we went to the beach was to keep an eye on us. Forever.
We would look up from our inflatables and see him waving us back to shore. Arms over head. Waving.
Come back. Come back. You’re too far out. It’s dangerous out there. Really.
Mom would be reading a book and instructing Dad. They are out too far. Do something.
Rip current. Jellyfish. Sharks. Boys.

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