Pierced Armor: Stitches, scratches & a lesson learned

Photo courtesy Flickr/KOMUnews

Last weekend was a tough one for the Larsen family.

Not only did we make our first trip to the emergency room, but we also learned one of life’s toughest lessons.

It all started innocently enough on Saturday afternoon. My daughter was playing across the street at her friend’s house and my wife walked over to pick her up just before hockey practice. As I began to prep the car with the gigantic bag, stick and a water bottle for my daughter’s most violent activity, my wife carried her across the street — bloodied and crying after she was clipped in the head by a twirling swing.

Now, by the time I saw her – – fortunately – – the bleeding had stopped. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.

We took her to the emergency room and fortunately no stitch was required. My daughter was very anxious about the whole ordeal and actually didn’t complain much about the pain or blood, but more the thought and idea of getting stitches or a staple.  She even asked if there would be a Minnie Mouse bow from the thread that kept her skin together …

In the end, she didn’t require a stitch but we had learned a tough one. I learned that no matter how safe or normal the situation is, there’s a chance my daughter could get hurt. And that just sucks.

The lesson would hit home yet again on Sunday when we visited some friends following my daughter’s final soccer game of the season. Still in her soccer cleats and shin guards — not to mention the headband my wife used to add some protection to the head wound we were nursing from the day before  — my daughter got injured yet again.

Again in what I would consider a safe environment, my daughter had a run in with our friends’ family dog. As she was the first one outside ahead of a walk we were going to take to see the family’s goats, my wife heard crying and ran outside to find that the dog and my daughter had collided heads. She had a big scratch under her eye and on her nose, a fat lip and a bump on her head.

The armor pierced yet again.

Look, I understand it really was just two rather significant boo-boos over the course of less than 24 hours. I’m not naive enough to think my daughter lives in a soft cloud that breaks her fall when I’m not around — although, I sure as hell wish there was a product that did this.

What it signifies to me, though, is that no matter how hard I try, I just can’t protect my daughter as well as I’d like to. There’s just something about being the dad — and I can’t speak for fathers of sons and mothers and daughters and sons. All I know is how I felt the two times my daughter was significantly injured.

I felt upset for the fact that she was hurt. I also felt like I let her down. Knowing that at some point during the two ordeals, she was terrified just kills me.

I’m not really sure what the point of this blog post is but I just felt like it was something I had to share. As Dad, I’ve never felt like this. Truthfully, I rarely feel like I have it all together but I certainly never feel like she is in grave danger. But now should I?

Ben Larsen

Written by: Ben Larsen

Ben is one of the founders here at First Time Father Project. Follow Ben's trial-by-fire parenting here with columns, essays and more. Learn more about him here.

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