The kid had a really bad bike wreck Friday. The kind that makes a parent stop what she's doing and run to the scene rather than waiting for the kid to shake it off. She came down the hill of our street full-tilt-boogie, not even applying the brake or trying to turn until she was in driveway at the end of the circle, heading for a collision with a garage door. By then it was too late, and her cheap little Strawberry Shortcake bike tipped and off she went in a roll that pitted skin against concrete. And that's a battle skin is going to lose every time.
I was surprisingly calm. When I saw her hit so hard that she rolled from front to back and back to front again, instead of thinking, ohmygodohmygodohmygod, I just thought, Well, I guess we're spending the rest of the afternoon in the emergency room getting something x-rayed. I've come a long way, baby.
Besides losing most of the skin on her bottom left leg and right elbow, and having a deep purple bruise on the top of her thigh from where she rolled over the handlebars, she's fine. She swore she was never riding her bike again, and then was out an hour later. That first night in the bathtub, she threw a fit as the concrete burns hit the water. You probably remember what that was like; after my last bad bike wreck at age 15, I decided that submerging a large, deep scrape into tap water would be a pretty effective way of torturing information out of someone.
Needless to say, the shower has been her cleansing method of choice these last few days.
Monday night she sucked in her breath when the water first hit her still-not-completely-scabbed leg.
"Owwie, owwie, owwie!" she said. "This booboo hurts like hell!"
Bear in mind that this fall "hell" was one of her spelling words at her Catholic school. I knew this was coming.
"Ainsley, don't say that. Remember when we talked about that word and I told you it was only okay to use it when you're talking about the place, like in religion class?"
"But I am talking about the place," she said, annoyed with my ignorance. "What do you want me to say instead? That it hurts like fire?"
Yes, dear, that's much more poetic.