I probably shouldn’t be enjoying your kid-injury stories as much as I have been, but, well, there it is. It’s like the time, years ago, when I accidentally allowed Riley to guzzle from a sippy cup that was absolutely FESTOONED in mold, and when I posted about in in a new-mom panic, people were like, you think that’s bad? My kid ate a moldy dog turd! And I was so, so happy to hear about all the moldy dog turd lunches because it was a welcome reminder that no matter what you do, shit happens. Sometimes it happens in your child’s mouth, even!
Anyway. Dylan appears to be no worse for wear and hasn’t even complained about the brace, which has been surprising. He’s bummed he can’t ride his bike or go to swimming lessons right now, but 10 days isn’t so bad. (I remember cracking my own ankle as a kid right at the beginning of summer, and having to wear a plastic bag over my sweltering cast every time we went to the beach. That was the summer I learned about sponge baths and the genital euphemism of “possible,” as defined by my grandmother: “Wash as far up as possible, as far down as possible, and possible.”)
It’s hard not to feel guilty about Dylan’s injury, or at least question, repeatedly, our possibly ill-conceived decision to build a ramp for him to hurtle over at top speed. I mean, I kind of knew it was just a matter of time until he crashed in a more serious fashion than his usual dramatic but minor tumbles. But then again, he’s been having so much fun, and really, he’s been getting really good at it. Um, except for that one time when he fell and broke his collarbone.
You know what I thought of last night, though, when Dylan woke up around 1 AM, whimpering, and we gave him some ibuprofen and I went back to bed and my brain went GUILTTILTGUILTTILT, is this story I just covered the other day at The Stir about a baby girl who has spinal muscular atrophy and isn’t expected to live past 18 months. Her parents have a blog where they’re documenting her life and keeping a sort of bucket list for her. Some of the items are on the fanciful side—swim with dolphins, that kind of thing—but many are heartbreakingly simple. Moments we take for granted that our children will experience: play dress up, make s’mores, play hide & seek.
Ride a bicycle is on there. Man, I can only imagine that this little girl’s parents would love to deal with the easily-fixed situation of their child cracking a collarbone while joyously riding her bike at top speed.
So: no more guilt. Dylan’s just fine, and he’s raring to get back on his bike, and I’m not going to hover and cluck when he eventually does so. (Well. Not TOO much, anyway.) And if I start fantasizing about sealing him in bubble wrap and slapping a set of training wheels back on, I’m going to remember this quote from Mr. Gonzo himself, Hunter S. Thompson: Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”