The preacher's kid

There really was a new pastor at the church and he did have kids. Mom made me and Vee go ask the new boy to come play with us. It wasn't really a chore. We might have waited till he was outside or something to check him out. Having Mom step in just meant we had to walk the two blocks to his place and knock on the door.

Guy was about our age but taller than most of the boys. On the walk back to our house we made getting acquainted small talk and waved Jay and Day to join us. Standing around making introductions and howdy's was boring. We started out playing rag football but Day had to leave and left us with an odd number of players.

We decided to golf with an old iron out of the garage and a few found balls. Being in town we couldn't really golf, something would get broken. We set up a target by stacking some cans on a cardboard box.

We let the new kid go first. He missed,of course. We ranged in age from 5 to 9 years old. None of us was really good at aiming anything! I got a swing and hit the box low and on the left. Jay stepped up to take his turn. I went to the right to brag to Vee about my shot. Guy was behind Jay and to his left.

Jay really wanted to nail the cans. I saw the club come up in a powerful back swing and clip Guy in the head. POW! Jay looked over his shoulder in surprise and carefully pulled the club down. Guy had immediately raised his hands to his head. He never made a sound, just grabbed his head. Blood ran through and over his fingers, down to his elbow and on to his shirt. I couldn't believe he wasn't crying!

It was instant panic! The blood flowed down his face so fast he couldn't see and we thought he would bleed to death right there.

I hot footed it to the house, shouting for Mom the whole way. As I have mentioned before, my parents were fairly expert in judging the severity of the situation by the pitch and volume level of a child's screams. Ma was out the back door before I got to the porch.

She raced over to the cluster of concerned children, with me right behind her. She took one look at the blood gushing out of Guy and sent us running. "Val, get a clean wash cloth and run it under cold water in the kitchen, Vee, go upstairs and get on of your dad's t-shirts, Jay - go home, it's ok! Cee and Arr get out of the way," she drew a breath, "Come on Guy, we're just going to get you sitting down in the house." She took his left bicep in her hand and led him carefully toward the house. Three of us dashed off on our assignments. The little kids followed her like a chain of ducks.

Inside, I had two wet cloths, ready. Mom pulled out a chair, sat Guy down and took them from me. "You have to let me look at your head, Guy, put your hands down." She stood, waiting.

Guy's hands moved about 3 inches from his head and Mom slid the wet cloth in quickly. The bleeding was slowing some but the cloth got red quickly. The kids crowded in the doorway, trying to see how badly he was hurt but he kept his hands over Ma's and they couldn't see anything. Neither could I!

I had run a dish pan of cool water without being asked because I knew Mom would need it. Guy was really a mess! I put the pan on the table and Mom told Guy, "OK, let me put a fresh cloth on it, Guy," and swapped the clean one out, dropping the red one in the pan. "Can you put your hands down now, Guy? I need to see how badly you're hurt."

Guy whimpered a little but put his hands in his lap and Mom lifted the cloth to peer under it. She had the blood cleaned up well enough to tell he was going to need stitches. He had a 4 inch gash JUST above his eyebrow over his right eye. A VERY near miss! I handed her the rinsed out cloth and she switched them again.

Vee came bounding into the room with a white t-shirt of Dad's she had found finally and landed by Guy. "Here, you can put this on and we can wash out your shirt before it stains."

Guy leaned forward and Mom pulled the cloth away from his head long enough for him to GENTLY take off his shirt, hand it to me, and slide Dad's on. He leaned back with his head tipped against the chair. While Mom rinsed the cloths out I trotted over to the sink to start on the shirt.

The blood had quit running, pretty much, and Mom made a pad of cloth for Guy to hold on his cut. "Just keep that there while I go call your Mother," she told him as she placed it over the slash. He put his hand over the cloth and mumbled a pitiful, "OK," as she walked out to use the phone in the dining room.

I felt like I was responsible because I asked him over so I walked over by Guy and said quietly, "I'm really sorry you got hurt, Guy. I hope you will play with us again, anyway, sometime."

Guy looked at me out of his uncovered eye and moaned, "I will. It was an accident. It's OK." I offered him the fresh cloth and we switched them again.

Mom seemed to take a long time on the phone. I guess being recently tricked by us about the pastor's little girl and then having to call and say, " Hello? Mrs. Z? .......I'm afraid Guy had a little accident........Well, I think he will need stitches. !!!!!..You might want to come pick him up.....You can see our Doctor......Yes, he's nearby. ...All right....I'll see you in a minute....Good bye." wasn't the most fun thing she had done. She was probably socially embarrassed forever that the poor kid got nailed on his first day playing at our house.

Guy's Mom was really nice about everything. No one hollered at Jay at all. He felt really badly that he'd hurt Guy.

The next afternoon Guy came to visit just to show us his black eye and the 12 stitches under his patch. It was really gross! It was black, blue and green and had just a little slit where his bloody looking eye could peek out - we were all impressed.

Guy never really got to be a regular at our place but he was really out of the area being a whole two blocks away. We stayed speaking friends till his folks moved on again in a few years.

Things like that just seemed to happen around our place. You think the fact that there was usually 14 or more kids playing in the yard had anything to do with it?

Comments: 2 Comments:
At 9/6/05 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That's typical kids playing in those days.

Today, someone would be getting sued. Back then we just accepted that accidents happen - kids just being kids.


At 9/6/05 1:05 PM, Blogger Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Pretty much you are right, TRS. It just floors me what people will go to court for now a days.


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