Smelly Socks: Oh cool, staples in your head

July 5, 2012 at 2:05 a.m.

We were at a friend's camping birthday party. Austin and four other boys had gone camping (completely adult supervised) the night before, and then all of the parents were to pick the children up at noon and eat lunch together.

The party was at our friend's working cattle ranch so, naturally, all of the boys were outside playing on all sorts of ranch equipment, while the adults were eating lunch inside the camp house. All of the sudden, a little boy came running inside the camp house and announced that "a boy had fallen down, and, oh yeah, there is a lot of blood."

All of the parents stood up in concern, but right then I knew it was Austin. Somehow in situations that involved "falling" and "blood," the hurt party is always my adventuresome and non-too-careful Austin.

Sure enough, I saw Austin walking toward the camp house biting his lip, trying really hard not to cry with blood running down his neck, to his T-shirt and onto his jeans.

In situations that involve blood, vomit or hospitals, I am remarkably calm and poised. It is only afterward when we get home and things are sorted out that I completely fall apart into a blubbering mess. But, when it counts, I hold it together.

Once I got to Austin and took a look at the gash of spurting blood on his head, I very non-alarmingly announced to John that we need to go to the emergency room and we hastily drove into town to the local hospital.

At the small town hospital emergency room, the nurse on duty asked what happened.

"Well ... we were at a birthday party," I said.

"Stop right there," she said. "We have already had four other kids here today from kids' birthday parties."

Mind you, they were all at different birthday parties and the injured parties were all male. The verdict for Austin was five staples to the cut on the back of his head, and quite a few bumps and bruises to contend with.

My brave boy never shed a tear, he only screamed so loud the entire hospital was aware that he wasn't happy. With my husband holding his shoulders down, a nurse holding each arm, Jamison and I each securing a leg and the doctor working quickly, the whole ordeal took maybe 10 minutes.

With the staple situation behind him, he happily hurried back to the party for his piece of chocolate cake and the all-impressive goodie bag. The main reason he pleaded to go back to the party was to show his buddies his battle scars and the five shiny metal staples in his head.

A friend of mine, who is a doctor, told me that the first injury that boys always get is to their chin. "Boys come in with busted chins all the time," the doctor said. "I have put more stitches in chins than you can imagine."

I have to agree, it is true that Austin's first emergency room visit was falling down and bumping his chin on a brick fireplace surround. He has a nice little scar to show for it. He thinks that it makes him look rough. "Does it make me look like I've been in a fight?" Austin innocently asks me, like it's a good thing and something to be proud of.

While I was following the doctor's directions of waking Austin up every few hours and checking on him, I look down at his sweet face. It always amazes me how sweet they look while sleeping.

Most days, I wish they slept longer and remained sweet when they wake up. But, come Monday morning, Austin was bouncing out the door in such a hurry to get to school. Austin, although a good student, has never been in a hurry to get to school, especially on a Monday.

But, he did have some impressive staples and battle scars to show his buddies. As I dropped Austin and Jamison off at school, I left them with a swarm of four boys all saying, "Oh cool, let me see. Cool, staples in your head. You are going to have a great scar." I realized that my little boy was having the time of his life and he would be all right.

I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this definitely won't be the last of many bumps and bruises to come. Each incident I am sure will have a great story attached and some amazing battle scars.

Johanna is a proud seventh-generation Texan. She lives on her family's South Texas ranch with her husband and two lively boys. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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