September 29, 2010 § 4 Comments
Growing up normal in our family is no easy feat. Which is probably why none of us did. One of my earliest memories is being three years old looking behind me to see my brother on a ride on tractor chasing me. My little chubby three year old legs pumping wildly propelling me across the length of our acre backyard. To this day, he’ll say I exaggerate that story, but one does not forget their first near death experience.
As said in the introduction, I am in my last year of undergrad. To say I made it this far in life without any serious, permanent injury is a small miracle. In second grade, I had a best friend named Ashley. Ashley, Colleen, and I would often hang out together, because Ashley was in between Colleen and I’s age. On cold December, Michigan evenings we often had to get creative in making up games. Classic hide and seek seemed less than an exciting prospect for three energetic girls. So why not turn off the lights? The seeker won’t be able to tell where they are and they will have to feel their way around the room in order to find the other two.
I guess I should preface this story with a short description of the room. Pat, Colleen and I shared one room. Pat had her own bed, and own side of the room, while Colleen and I shared bunk beds, on the other side. Earlier in the evening before she left the house, we were under strict instruction not to go anywhere near Pat’s things.
So as we played hide and seek throughout the entire bedroom, I scouted out my hiding place. Closet? Too easy. Under the bed? Been there done that. Under the covers? What am I five? All of a sudden Pat’s TV stand came into view. Genius, I’ll shove my little body into the TV stand which held Pat’s cement block of a TV. Sensing my idea, Colleen made a rule: “No hiding under Pat’s TV stand.” Hearing that rule, what second grader wouldn’t think the TV stand was the best place to hide? She won’t be looking there because it’s off limits! Ashley hid under the blankets, Colleen was waiting outside, so I ran, turned off the lights, and squirmed into the TV stand, and called Colleen to come into the room.
Now Colleen is a different kind of sister. She had a mother’s instincts by the time she was eight. She knew by telling me I couldn’t hide under the TV, I would hide under the TV. Pitch black, she felt her way around the room till she could feel the glass screen of the television. Feeling her way down to the wooden stand, she got on the ground, put her hand inside and tagged me. I was out. Not only was I out but I was the first one out! Defeated, I began climbing out of the TV stand. Arms first, I crab-walked out of it putting my hands on the ground, then my butt. The dark concealed the slow tipping of the giant TV. So when it fell on my head I didn’t know what had hit me. I slammed to the ground, and Colleen with one hand threw it off my head in one fell swoop. Before I know it, the lights are on, I’m staring at the ceiling, unable to move, and my mom is running to my side. In what felt like less than three minutes, fire trucks and ambulances filled our driveway. Countless paramedics and firefighters crowded our room, putting me on a stretcher. Throughout this madness Colleen (the whiner) started complaining about her arm. I can’t get one ounce of attention without Colleen trying to steal my spotlight. “Mom my arm really hurts!”
“Colleen, your sister is really hurt, not now!”
“But mom, my arm really hurts!”
“Damn it Colleen!” and then to a fire fighter “Can you get her an ice pack or something?!”
Meanwhile, my mental state was being tested.
“Meagan do you know what month it is?”
“Meagan, can you tell me who Santa is?”
“Uhh… Kris Kringle… duh…”
An ambulance ride is very exciting for a 7-year-old girl. You’re on your back, racing through the streets. Dad’s in the front seat of the ambulance asking question after question while I’m having the time of my life in the back. At the hospital the doctor told mom, they were taking me for x-rays, and that one of two things would happen. Either I would walk out of the x-ray room on my own, or something would be seriously wrong, I’d be wheeled back out, and more tests would have to be done. An hour later, when I walked down the hallway, my mom’s face immediately relaxed. Uncle Jerry, mom, and dad, all gave me a big hug (because I had earned it!) Now you may be asking where did Uncle Jerry come from in this story? Well it should be known that when a member of our family get’s hurt or sick, the entire family knows within 5 minutes, and no less than three people will volunteer to go to the hospital. Aunts and Uncles accompanied my parents on many a trip to the ER, from strep throat to scalp stitches to TVs falling on heads.
I walked back into my house late that night and headed straight for my room to show Colleen that Uncle Jerry bought me a Slurpee! Colleen is on the top bunk cradling her arm, which had grown to double its original size. She had torn tissue in her arm when she threw the TV off my head. She was none too pleased when I sauntered into the room completely fine with a Slurpee for my troubles. The next morning mom took her to the doctors, where they wrapped her arm (which I think was unnecessary, again with the attention stealing), and took her to 7-11 to get Colleen her well-earned Slurpee.