Monday, July 15, 2013

"You're Going To Put Your Eye Out"

How many times did I hear my mom say that when I was a child? Any time one of us kids had a pencil, tinker toy stick, the proverbial scissors, any potentially poky object really, and started running with it in our hands, Mom was bound to say: "Don't run with that in your hand. You could fall and put your eye out!"

I grew up with a plethora of momisms: Making faces at my siblings: "Your face is going to freeze like that." Fighting in the back seat while she was driving: "Don't make me stop this car!" Spending too much time primping in front of the mirror: "Quit looking in the mirror all the time or you'll be conceited." Or, one along those same lines: "Pretty is as pretty does". Being unkind to someone: "How would you like it if someone treated you like that?"

I know I used most of those same sayings when my children were growing up - those and many more I learned from my mom and grandmothers - not that they always listened:

When Douglas was almost five, he and I moved to a furnished apartment in Mt. Vernon. One Sunday evening I was doing our laundry at the laundromat and Doug was playing with his toy bow and arrows. He had taken the suction cup off one of the arrows and was running around with it in his hand. True to form, I told him to quit running with it. He would stop running around the washers until I got busy folding clothes and then off he'd go again. I heard him trip and fall, followed immediately by crying. When I got to him and picked him up he was holding his hand over his right eye.

Gory images of what might be under his hand flashed through my mind. As I tried to comfort him and stop his crying I pried his hand away. Thank goodness his eye was still there, but there was some blood in the outside corner of it. What to do? It was Sunday night, I was new in town, didn't have a doctor yet.
Trust in the kindness of others - a man doing his laundry offered to help. He called a local doctor who agreed to meet us at his office. Doug's eye was examined and I was assured he was going to be fine. He would have to wear an eye patch for a week. I would have to put ointment in his eye and change the bandage every day, but he really was going to be fine.

There's a lot of truth in those old momisms. I know for a fact.

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