I have a scar on my left knee from a childhood cut.
I was a tough kid who played hard, so cuts and scrapes weren’t unusual. But for some reason I remember getting this particular cut.
I was about 6 years old.
We were visiting friends in a smaller town about an hour away.
All the kids were playing outside on the pleasant summer’s day.
Our friends, my siblings, other neighbourhood kids.
And there was a wagon involved.
I think we were riding in the wagon, down a hill, quite fast.
Something happened, maybe we hit a bump, maybe that little wagon was just not meant to be ridden downhill by two or three kids at that speed.
We tumbled out of the wagon and my knee hit the gravelly pavement, hard.
There was blood, and skin and though I was tough, there were a few tears.
My mom, in her calming way, dried my tears and took me inside to clean me up.
For some reason this is the first time I remember the feeling of hydrogen peroxide being poured onto a wound. Being the rough kid that I was I’m sure it had been administered before that moment, but this was an instance I clearly remembered.
That dark brown bottle tipped up and for a moment the pain was searingly worse. Then the liquid frothed and bubbled on the oval open wound on my knee. Like a an injured cub I cried out, not understanding that this additional pain would be worth it, would help my wound and start the process of healing.
The sharpness of the treatment stung badly but my mom’s gentle cool hands patted and bandaged and sent me back outside to play.
I’m sure we played some more and I’m sure I was into more mischief by the end of that day.
I even managed to make everyone laugh when we were leaving, slapping a neighbourhood boy on the back and proclaiming, “Well, s’long Jeremy!” (A memorable moment that has become a family saying ever since.)
Now, as an adult with a few more scars and bumps along the way, I notice that half-inch line of a scar on my knee once in a while.
I remember that even when we are wounded, the pain doesn’t last forever.
Though sharp and difficult to ignore, pain fades.
We can heal, we can be patched up, and sent back out to play.
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