Today, being Saturday, is frequently errand day. The Manchild was dropped off at the Smash (video game) tournament at UW, Michelle was out getting her hair did, and I decided to get the grocery shopping done.
On these weekend days when I errand alone, I like to listen to NPR. The weekend programming is a welcome respite from politics, bad news and dumb people we hear about all week.
Today, they were discussing stories told by kids of things that happened to them simply in the course of being a kid. This started me thinking of all the stuff that I did when I was younger, and wondering how my mom survived, not just with me, but with 5 of us!
Now looking at this fine young man, destined to grow up into the dashing and debonair rider and blogger y’all know now, one must be wondering, “How could such a good-looking baby cause any trouble at all??”
Well, if you look closely in those eyes, there is a bit a daredevil (heavy on both Dare and Devil) showing. It didn’t take long for this to come to a head (literally).
Four years old and a Red Flyer wagon. Tony and a few of his brave friends were dragging the wagon to the top of a small hill, all piling in, and rolling down the hill. I, of course, was in front and steering. We were having fun and had had quite a few (OK I was 4, I have no idea how many) successful rides when, as they say, something went wrong.
For some reason, and I do NOT think it was the steering, the wagon tossed us out and we all went flying! I landed on my face, and started walking back to my house. I very distinctly remember not being in too much pain. But when I walked in, my mom looked at me and had a look I had never seen before. I reached up, touched my head and it came back bloody. THEN I cried!! (Yep that one took stitches!)
Funny, my dad and I looked all over that hill, and we never did find what split my head. Mom banned all wagon rides on hills after that!
Later the same year (or before, remember I was 4) my friends and I were at the trees and saw bees going into a hole in the ground. Scientific Valente here thought we could trap them by putting a stick in the hole… Yeah, there was another hole… A swarm of bees chased my friends and I down the hill screaming and yelling for mom!
Fast forward to grade school.
I was running up the front steps, and stumble forward. I put my hands out to catch myself on the window of the screen door. Yep, I can tell you have this figured out… I went right THROUGH the window! Glass was EVERYWHERE! Me? Not a scratch! It was years later I figured out just how bad that coulda been…
Then there was the day I was out in my new Waffle Stompers (boots with great tread!). I knew these boots were as tough as my dad’s army boots! Nothing could get through them! So, again being the scientific person that I was, I needed to test this! Oh look! A board with a nail in it! (rusty of course!) So I stood on the nail…
I finally told my mom this one about a week afterward… And yep, got my butt chewed AND a tetanus shot. I remember the doc asking why I stepped on the nail and why I took so long to tell my parents. Looking back I seem to recall a look that said, “Y’all have your hands full with this one!” being given to my mom.
I won’t even begin to count the number of times I crashed on the bike growing up. I took jumps, trails, went off curbs ‘no handed’ all without helmets. There was even one time I snuck in my bedroom window to get the bathroom and wash off the blood before seeing my mom (remembering the big wagon spill maybe) after going over a 3 foot drop onto a gravel parking lot. (To this day I think I’da made it if it were for gravel!
But as we know, little boys grow, up, go to college and things like this stop….
Oh wait, wrong picture…
Yep, Studious Valente they called me! Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel….
Well there was that one time we were playing a game called Hallball. (Two guys in a dorm hall, armed with racquet balls with the goal being hitting the two on the other team more times than they got hit). Yeah I kinda ended up in the hospital for a week on that one. (Kids, word of advice NEVER stay in the hospital for a week then tell your parents AFTER you get out… )
Or the time I was trying to get the last brownie out of the pan, with the only sharp knife… It broke lose and went right into my arm. I didn’t realize it until I saw blood dripping on the floor. I grabbed a paper towel and applied pressure and called out friend Rick. The dialogue went something like this
Me: “Rick I am bleeding, come get me and take me to the hospital!”
Rick: “OK!! One question: WHO is this???”
Me: “Rick its Tony! COME GET MY ASS NOW!”
Now, however, I am a grown man.
And MUCH more careful…
Well, I least try to be!
It’s just funny to look back and think of all the things that happened to me, all in the day-to-day life as a kid (ok not only as a kid now, but you know what I mean….) Kids nowadays will NOT have as many fun stories as parents ride herd MUCH more closely than necessary (and I am guilty as well). Its sad, but will result in fewer scars!
I will go on record that I was NOT as bad as my brother Michael who was on a first name basis with the ER room staff for a while, but maybe now I understand better when my mom blames me for the gray hairs! It’s a wonder she, and now Michelle, survive me being me!
Like the wind!