Now, I'm no stranger to blood and gore. I've played midwife to dogs and livestock and doctored up wildlife who came in with compound fractures and exposed organs. But the sight of my little boy being toted into the kitchen with a stream of blood streaming down his face was something else entirely. Larry set a howling Lucas in a chair and pressed some paper towels to his bleeding brow. "Hold this," he said. "I'll get a washcloth."
That's when everything started going black. By the time Larry came back in I was sitting on the floor. Seeing how pale I was, instructed me to lay down.
I really didn't have a choice. Everything was spinning, no matter how hard I tried to level them out. I felt sick. Then I got sick and it wasn't until Larry had slowed Lucas' bleeding that I was able to go back over and assess the wound.
I felt like such a wimp, but any embarrassment was replaced by relief when I realized that the gash wasn't as deep as first thought. A good cleaning and some butterfly bandages stopped the bleeding and today Lucas is actually proud of his new "boo-boo," which will likely leave a faint scar.
His father has a number of interesting scars. The latest one is a zig-zag mark on his forehead just above his right eye, earned in December when a four-inch piece of pipe popped up and hit him. It still hurts sometimes, and when it does we always ask him if Lord Voldemort is near. Almost three months later, the joke hasn't gotten old. To us.
Larry also has several scars on his hands. One came during a mishap installing a fence several years ago. But the most impressive one was the infamous Lizard Attack scar, earned when a 4-foot Crocodile Monitor mistook his hand for a mouse and ripped through several fingers. It was so ghastly that the nurses in the ER queued up for a look. My husband. The one-man-freak-show.
I only have one scar, a small one on the base of my wrist that came courtesy of Ranger, the first hawk I ever handled. In my naivete, I was worried about being bitten but quickly learned the danger of raptors is not the beak but the claws. Ranger, a huge red-tailed hawk that ended up living with me for a decade, managed to grab my wrist and sink right in. And there was nothing I could do but wait for her to decide I wasn't a threat and release me. When she did, she left a permanent reminder to always wear gloves, even if the raptor seems weak.
Jessica, John and Alex are scar-free. Wesley has a faint scar on his face that Jessica gave him years ago when she scratched him - quite accidentally - when they were playing. Wes was about three at the time and the scar, which started out under his eye, migrated down his face as he grew into manhood.
Who knows what scars are in our kids' future. Hopefully not too many. But for now, Lucas seems pretty proud of his first one. He's practically swaggering this morning, and quite proud to have a story to tell.