I was playing with my son the other night when suddenly he came down and bashed my head like a professional wrestler. I jolted upright to make sure he was okay, and he was, it didn’t appear to bother him at all. But then I noticed a red bump on his forehead. Of course I panicked, like only a first time parent can. I called for my wife, she said he was fine. But still, what if I hurt him? I spent the rest of the evening watching him like a hawk, and the little bump receded, unlike my worries.
He’s been knocking his head around more and more lately. I heard him hit the crib railing the other night, the doorframe in his jumper last week, and then Dad’s big old cranium last night. I may need to get him a helmet, just like my father did for me.
I was maybe 8 when my dad bought my first football helmet at the flea market. It was blue with a plastic facemask and bore the scars of many game day clashes. I can still remember
the head lice
wearing it everywhere I went, head butting trees in the yard and ramming the
walls of the house like a billy goat. Sleeping was difficult, as the pesky facemask
made turning over a chore. But it was so
much fun, and it wasn’t even football season.
As a matter of fact I wasn’t even playing football then. Hmmm, now that I think about it—riding my
bike, my skateboard, go-carts, my mini bike—I went nowhere without that helmet. And it came in handy at the dentist office. Later on, after my head became too big, it
became a desk lamp. But for a summer, I stuffed
my big old noggin into that helmet and went about my business, flopping around
the yard in shorts, a t-shirt, and, wait a minute….
I must have looked like an idiot wearing football helmet around the neighborhood. I’m picturing myself prancing up and down the street, my mullet peeking out of the back, swaying in the wind as the neighbor’s sipped evening coffee, shaking their heads and saying things like, It’s a shame about that poor boy…
This explains a lot. I was only a soiled bed sheet away from being chained to a tree. Okay, no helmet for my son. I’ll just have to be extremely careful when we horseplay. No tossing him through the air from couch to couch until he’s at least 5. Just like my dad did with me…Oh. Things are really starting to add up here.
Just so you know my little guy is doing just fine. It seems he’s inherited his dad’s thick skull. I’m going to have to get used to some bumps and bruises along the way, just as my dad encountered with me. At least until he bought that leash for the tree. It all makes sense now.