I had an odd experience the other week – although I say that like I should be surprised; I always have odd experiences, because that’s just life. But this was a little eccentric; I was walking home along Hereson Road in Ramsgate, on the pavement (because drivers get justifiably annoyed if pedestrians walk home on the road), and I was hit by a car’s wing mirror.
I told you it was odd.
I’m not quite sure how else to describe it, but it’s true; I was walking along quite contentedly on the pavement, and all of a sudden I felt an incredible pain in my left arm. A car was obviously quite close to the pavement so that its wing mirror was over the pavement, and it collided with my arm – with such force, I might add, that the wing mirror broke off from its casing and was left hanging by a wire.
I was struck dumb by the occasion – a rare enough event to warrant recording – and I watched in amazement as the car continued on its way down the road. Surely it’ll stop, I thought, as I massaged life back into my left arm; they can’t not have noticed, especially as the wing mirror was dangling precariously close to the floor. But no; they remained resolutely fixed on their destination and I never saw them again.
I related this story to Bryan (my nine year old son, in case I’ve forgotten to ever mention him?) when he got home from forest school that evening, and he examined my arm in close detail. He’s had some first aid training, and I bought him a first aid kit which he delights in keeping close just in case (just in case of what, I don’t know, but I find it wise not to ask), and he seemed almost disappointed that he couldn’t use it to deal with a deep contusion, spurting blood, or a fainting father. My arm has been very sore over the last week – as you might expect – but it still works.
I tell you this because it surprises me sometimes what things fascinate children; it probably shouldn’t do, having been a father for over a year now, but Bryan was fascinated by the potential for wound damage or bruising or what might happen beneath the skin. He even asked me if he would be allowed into the operating room if the doctors had to amputate my arm. I think I disappointed him when I said that the chances of my arm needing to be cut off were close to nil; he asked if I could “have a word”, as if I would want my arm cut off and all this “keeping it attached” malarky was just a misunderstanding.
I was quite firm in stating that I wanted to keep it attached, thank you very much. He has a pair of surgical scissors in his first aid kit, and I suspect that he was thinking of using those for a home-grown operation. I might have to keep my bedroom door locked for a while when I sleep; he might want to earn some extra pocket money on the black market. I’ve always encouraged him to be enterprising, but this is going too far.
Why have you sent Bryan to a school that’s in a forest?
It tires him out every Thursday and ensures a good night’s sleep – oh, and he has fun and makes friends, etc, etc (I should have probably mentioned that first, I suppose?).
Children are inquisitive, fascinated with the world around them picking up snippets of information as they travel through this wonderful life we have been given. An amusing story of what could have been a very painful experience for you. To make light of it as you have, was such a breath of fresh air amongst all the doom and gloom that is printed today.
I do love reading your articles, Matthew. Your relationship with your son sounds delightful and your stories make me smile. I hope your arm is healing well.
Bless him, A doctor in the making . Hope your arm is better.