Bumps, bruises, and scrapes are just part of growing up. What about broken bones, chipped teeth and stitches? Do they have to be? I had my share of injuries growing up, but I didn’t get my first set of stitches until I was in high school and my first broken bone was at age twenty-eight.  Last weekend my eight year old son got both a broken finger and stitches. He got to spend hours in the emergency room with Kerry and Auntie Stacey. After that he received another first; a midnight breakfast at Denny’s.

Some kids get all the breaks.  I remember how cool it was walking onto school grounds with some sign of a great injury; bandages, stitches, slings or casts and, of course, the bigger the better. I always envied the people with casts; they got so much attention; people drew pictures and signed their names on the casts. Anyway, most of my injuries had some sort of cool story; crashed my bike off a ramp trying to clear Jason’s  Winnebago, or flew off my skateboard trying to grind on some janky ledge, not chipping my tooth because someone’s ski pole wacked my mouth as we all fell off the lift (you know who you are).  The scars the injuries left were signs that we have truly lived. They were, and are, badges of honor.

What is my point? My point is that my perspective is a bit different today with my kids. Yes, I still think it is cool after the fact. The stories and scars are definitely cool too. I just don’t like living through it. Notice in the story that Kerry & Auntie Stacey are with Nolan at the ER, not me. I hate hospitals and other people’s blood. I can handle my own injuries, but not my kids’. I freak out and panic and have no idea what to do.

This is good and bad. The good news is that I am pretty cautious with them. I drill the idea of safety into their heads. We didn’t need helmets or pads when I was a kid but I make sure Nolan and Davan are suited up for battle. Okay, so I am a little over-the-top with it all, but that is better than being unsafe and irresponsible. The bottom line is that I don’t want my kids to get hurt so I do whatever I have to do to protect them. Maybe it is too much sometimes, but like I said, I would rather be how I am than the other extreme. The bad news is that you don’t want me around if you get hurt. Okay and that I am overprotective. I am getting better, though.  I let them cliff dive over the summer and let Nolan ride down a pretty gnarly trail with me on his bike. That’s progress!

How about you? Have any good injury stories growing up?  How about your kids? Better yet, how about some good advice for a bonehead like me in these situations? Or, how do you let go and the kids be kids?

Happy Story Building!
– Kevin Williams
VP & Dad