I feel seen.
From the time I learned to walk until I graduated from high school, I sported at least one, two, and sometimes even more skinned knees.
What say you, Gentle Reader? That a person with the usual number of knees can have no more than two?
I’m afraid, my friend, that you would be wrong.
As I write this column, I have five separate and distinct areas of knee skinnage. Three on one knee, and two on the other. And even though my right knee only has two abrasions, one of them is 2 ½ by 1 ½ inches (literally, I just broke out my tape measure).
Three and a quarter square inches may not be a lot when measuring Grandfather Mountain or the dunes at Jockey’s Ridge, but when it’s a completely raw and weeping patch on the body’s largest joint, let me assure you, Gentle Reader, it is positively, painfully elephantine.
But shockingly, I am not the only wounded member of the Matthews Family Band this week. In the last seven days, every two-legged member has been injured.
Even worse, the assailants were the four-legged family members; our pooch Crowley, and The Kid’s dog, Bella.
The first, and most grievously injured of us was Petey.
He had recently changed his dog-walking route. He switched from an older, quieter neighborhood, to a newer, busier, more populated one (we live kind of in-between both areas). I walk both, so am familiar with the new neighborhood and its inhabitants, the human and the canine.
I know which homes have dogs and how they react to our pooch walking past their territory. But I didn’t even think to give him the 411, because he has much more upper body strength, and he’s way better at not falling down than me.
The other night he came in after a walk, sat down, and asked, “Is my head bleeding?”
Uh oh. Crowley had taken off running. Petey had put the brake on the leash, but the momentum of our 118-pound pup sent him you-know-what over teacups.
The back of his head wasn’t bleeding but had a goose egg. His eyebrow was cut and bleeding. And he’d hurt his thumb. I took one look at it and knew it was broken.
You see, I’d broken my thumb last year almost exactly the same way—although no dog, just me and my adversarial relationship with gravity. I’d tripped over my own feet. When I fell, I landed on my thumb.
I made him promise that if his thumb got worse, we’d go to urgent care.
X-rays showed the thumb was broken, and a cat scan showed evidence of brain, but no concussion.
Next up was yours truly.
A couple of dogs got my silly boy all excited. He didn’t take off but did these little hops he does when worked up, his legs got tangled with mine, and I went down over him and landed on both knees—hence, the skinnage.
Then tonight, The Kid came over for dinner with a couple of sore knees and a painful ankle. Bella and Bella’s best dog friend Addie had gotten extra playful, and my child got clotheslined.
See how close the Matthews Family Band is? Next time we have a group bonding experience I’d like for it to be less hurty and more amusement park-ey.
If you’re still wondering why I said I feel seen, it because after more than fifty years of shingling multiple Band-Aids to cover a skinned knee, they’ve finally started making one adhesive bandage so big that it covers the whole thing.
I think I’ll stock up.
Thanks for your time.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.