I notice the bandages on his knee after dinner.
“Did you hurt yourself at school?” I ask my seven-year-old son. He wears shorts almost exclusively now that the temperature is reliably 50 degrees and warmer.
“Yeah, I fell on the way out to recess,” he says with a shrug. No, he didn’t cry, he tells us.
“We need to take them off before bed,” I tell him. His eyes widen with fear and he shakes his head.
“No, it will hurt too much!”
My husband and I convince him that we need to remove the bandages. After some protest, he agrees and my husband rips them off quickly as our son screams how it hurts. When we see the bandages, we know we also have to clean the wound. Again, our son shakes his head. He just wants us to cover it back up and let him go to bed.
We coax him into the bathroom where I wet a cloth and gently dab at the scrape on his knee where blood has dried and pieces of the blacktop or mulch or ground where he landed have embedded themselves in the wound. He whines, on the verge of panic, as I do what needs to be done.
“I know it hurts,” I say. “But it will hurt more if we don’t clean it and leave it open to heal.”
To read the rest of this post, visit Putting on the New, where I write on the 12th of each month.