Rearing children is a risky business and is not an occupation for the faint-hearted. Just when you think you’ve mastered the job, up pops something totally unexpected. I guess, though, you could call rearing children a learning experience.
My son is hard headed and always has been, being well acquainted with baseball bats and hammers. One summer day, while hammering a stake into the ground to erect his dad’s old Boy Scout tent, he brought the hammer a little too far back and down to take aim. His big sister, being chief caregiver of the family, ran inside to tell me what had happened. With blood streaming down his face and dripping onto the ground, his only comment was “I thought I was sweating a lot.” I learned something that day - hammered heads bleed a lot.
Then there was the time he got hit by a bat while playing baseball during recess at school. The principal called and my husband promptly drove our offspring to the Emergency room. Later, after getting our daughter from school, I raced to the E.R. to check on the little fellow, fearing all the while that the doctor would have dreadful news. There he lay - most of his forehead bandaged, a weak smile on his face and then he spoke, “Mom, do you have anything to eat in your purse?” I learned another lesson that day - getting hit with a baseball bat makes you hungry.
This male child has always marched to the tune of a different drummer. When others walked, he ran; when others slept, he was awake. From his earliest days, he wanted toys that made noise, had wheels and could be driven or pushed. I should have known right then he would end up on a race track. Just barely 16, he started racing - on a track, in a car and against drivers much older and with a lot more experience. I believed him when he promised me he would not go faster than 40 miles per hour. Hummph! He never explained that he would only do that in the corners, but on the straightway, it was hell bent for leather to reach the next corner so everyone could cram their cars into a tiny space and then fight each other again to get to the next corner. The lesson of the day - racing is all about speed; it’s not for the old and weak.
I hope those frantic days are behind us now. My son grew up and has become the responsible adult I hoped he would be in spite of a hammered and battered head and zipping around a race track. These days he is more inclined to work in his garden or take his dog, Keystone, for a ride in the Jeep and his racing is confined to watching it on TV. And not a day too soon, if you ask me. I’ve learned just about all I can take.