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Another experience with my Dad was the latter part of my kindergarten year. We were living in Naval housing off the base and the duplex we lived in was on a cul-de-sac. So our side yard was more of a small field lined with woods. My sisters and I would play soccer or softball there quite often. At the time, we did not have a baseball bat, so we used a wooden table leg that came from my dad’s coffee table he had made in high school woodshop. The leg was round at the bottom and went up into a square at the top. It was made of good solid wood and worked very well as a bat. My sister, Melinda, was studying softball/baseball in P.E. at school and wanted to freshen up her batting skills. My mom, dad and brother had gone to the store. I am not sure where my oldest sister, Julie, was at the time. That left only Melinda, my sister Elizabeth and me at home. I was six at the time, making Melinda eleven and Elizabeth nine. Well, I was standing behind Melinda as she would toss the softball up and then try to hit it as it came back down. We had done this numerous times before that day. She told me to stand back, and I thought I was back far enough. Well, I wasn’t. Up goes the ball, she swings with all her might, hits the ball, but in her backswing she hits my head with the top of the leg-bat. I wake up with her standing over me, asking if I was ok. She was the perfect picture of calm. I felt reassured. I said that my head hurt. She told me that she accidentally hit me with the bat and that we needed to go in the house to get cleaned up. She helped me up and as we walked to the house, I felt my head. I brought my hand back down and saw that it was covered in blood. Now I am scared, but when I speak my sister’s name, she looks at me, perfectly calm, and says, “You’re ok. Just a scratch.” Okay. If she is not worried, I’m not worried. She is my older sister, she should know if it was something serious. We get to the house just as Elizabeth is walking out. One look at my face and Liz looses it completely. Cue the hysterics. Now I am scared and start to cry and Melinda rushes me to the bathroom to get me cleaned up and sends Liz to the neighbor (who happened to be a nurse).

Our neighbor came over and reassured me that it was not serious, might not even need stitches, and laid me down on the couch with a wet wash cloth on my forehead until my parents got home. Then next thing I remember is my dad driving me to the clinic on the Navy base, telling me that everything is going to be ok. I ask if I will need stitches, and he said no, that they will probably “butterfly” it shut. I could live with that. For the rest of the trip he tells jokes and acts silly to help relieve my fears. I remember my dad carrying me into the clinic. As the doctor is cleaning the wound out and putting a Band-aid on my forehead, I look at my dad and realize that he had absent mindedly put the wet wash cloth in his back pocket. When we leave, I start to laugh as the back of my dad’s jeans are now half soaked from the cloth. We both giggle as we walk to the car, hand in hand.

On the way home, he stopped and bought me a big bag of M&M’s. He told me that they were all mine for being so brave and that I didn’t have to share with my sisters when we got home. What a treat! I love chocolate and I didn’t have to share! (Coming from a family that size, you always had to share). Well, I ate about half the bag before we arrived home, but shared them anyway; because that is the way my parents raised us. My “badge of bravery” is a small scar above my left eye that is visible if seen in just the right light. Another side note: my dad showed me the table leg that my sister hit me with, and one of the corners was chipped off. A piece about 3 inches long and about 2 inches wide. He wasn’t upset about the table leg at all. In fact, he made jokes about how hard my head must be to chip it like I did. He let me know that nothing was more important than my safety and wellbeing.

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The following comments are for "My Dad - Chapter 3 - Play Ball!"
by leftylink

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