So when Natalia decided to try to jump across the neighbor’s driveway while speeding downhill for the first time, it didn’t end well. She scuttered up one entire side of her body. Her knee, elbow, and hand were a mess, but that was not the worst part. Her shirt had lifted up when she fell and her entire side was scraped from her waist to under her arm. And it looked pretty bad.
After a shower to clean up, Natalia was treated with a variety of fabulous high tech multi-sized band aids, some with antibiotic on them, some for sensitive skin, and some that were waterproof. "Very advanced," she said, as she referred to the high tech band aids.
As we were talking, Natalia asked me if anything like this had ever happened to me.
And then it hit me. When I was her age, things like that happened to me ALL. THE. TIME.
Life was certainly different when I was little, but somehow I managed to make it to adulthood and I look fondly on my childhood. My friends and I would ride our bikes for miles (sans helmet) and arrive home for an afternoon snack or dinner at one of our houses. From time to time, I would fall and have to make it home with skinned up knees.
Getting hurt at home was not fun, but getting hurt at school was terrible! No fate was worse than a trip to the school nurse after getting a scrape at school. The nurse would get out her can of Mercurochrome spray that stung when it went on my cut and turned my skin an ugly reddish-orange shade. Yes, the mercur- root means that this antiseptic that contained mercury was also toxic. I would rather clean my cut with some soap and water in the bathroom than go to the school nurse.
Natalia’s eyes were filled with horror and disbelief when I told her about this.
Lucky for her, I saved the stories about rusty playground equipment without padded ground and metal chains on swings that always seemed to catch a finger or two for another day.
We survived all kinds of things in a wonderful world that would be considered unsafe by today’s standards. I sometimes wonder what is worse…taking risks in life, or not taking any chances and being afraid of what might happen. My BFFs and I explored for hours by ourselves without the benefit of cell phones, sweet scented antibacterial hand sanitizer, and we even drank water from the hose. And we survived!
You'll be happy to know that Princess Natalia is on the mend and is back on her scooter. Both girls have a little bit of a thicker skin after the experience and want to explore the world a little bit more, although they're pretty terrified about the mercury-laced spray. No worries, girls. Your friendly school nurse can't even give you a cough drop without 75 stamped and signed forms!
What was your childhood like? Did you play outside for hours with friends? Do you think today's generation is more protected than previous generations?
pictures via my pinterest