Having two older brothers guaranteed one thing for me while growing up - various cuts, scrapes and bruises covering my arms and legs at any given time. I was their guinea pig, their crash test dummy. I would end up wounded in some way and go running for the house...and my mom would always say, "oh, you're not dead...if you had the brains God gave you, you wouldn't do what they asked."
But I wanted to fit in. I didn't want to be a girly-girl. I wanted to be one of the boys. They would talk me into playing Evil Knievel with my bike (never a wise choice), having me barrel down one of the hills attempting some sort of jump at the bottom (the bike usually ended up on top of me). They had me try to ride my pet donkey - who didn't want to be rode. They were always successful at talking me into being a passenger on one of their motorcycle rides (can't tell you how many times I fell off the back when hitting a bump in the road). They even got me to ride in makeshift wagons that were hooked up to the back of dirtbikes (you can only imagine the outcome). And I still have many of the scars to this day.
Plus, on top of what my brothers got me into, I have to admit I am a natural klutz. Grace is not my middle name. So, even when I was not being used for experiments, I was finding my own way to injuries. And it's never improved. Even now, I always have a cut, scrape or burn somewhere on my body. But I've lived through it all and actually feel that I am stronger (so to speak) because of it.
So, I guess it really shouldn't surprise me that my son is following in my footsteps...or missteps. He is always falling or banging his head on something. But it was just this past week, when he fell on the sidewalk and took a good portion of hide off his right knee, that I had that odd sense of deja vu and saw multiple visions of what his future would be like. He is currently an only child. Will he learn from his own self-inflicted wounds? Will he grow up to be the ringleader of crash test dummies? I shudder to think.
And yet, at the same time, I find myself repeating my mom's words to him - "oh, you're not dead...here's a bandaid...and just be more careful next time."