A rite of passage: The boy’s first face plant

Yesterday afternoon Aiden and I were hanging out in the living room with the windows open. Some neighborhood kids were playing out front, and after watching them for a while, Aiden started yelling at them. A few of them came over to the window to talk to him. After a minute I walked over to the window to observe the interaction, and the kids scattered. It was one of those moments you realize that you’re old…kids are scared of pretty much any strange adult.

I assured them it was fine to talk to Aiden through the window, and eventually one of them asked him, "Do you want to come outside and play with us?" At two years, three months, Aiden has a pretty good handle on the language (better than I realize a lot of the time), and to my surprise he said, "OKAY!" and headed for the front door. I stopped him to put his shoes on, and we went out to play with the big kids.

They immediately gave him their basketball, and one or two of them would pass it back and forth with him while the rest of the group played tag. I stayed in pretty close proximity the whole time, but obviously not close enough. As Aiden was chasing the ball across the drive, he ran out in front of one of the kids–probably five or six years old and twice Aiden’s size–being chased by whoever was "it." It was a classic high-speed playground collision, and Aiden went flying. Fortunately he fell forward onto the basketball, which he caught right in the gut. His upper body continued toward the ground, and his face skidded across the pavement. He came to a stop inverted, face in the ground, belly on the ball, legs in the air. I knew he was hurt, but I also knew the facial/head impact with the ground had been relatively mild, enabling Dad to maintain a reasonable amount of calm. The tears were profuse (Aiden’s, not mine), and we went inside to clean him up.

I wanted to document the scars, so I put him against the wall to take a few mugshots. Turns out he’s entered a posing phase, and he made me follow him from one wall to the next taking pictures of him. "This wall, Dad….this one, Dad…"

The first one is from last night, just a few hours after the carnage. The last two are from today, with the wounds fully developed. You can click the photos to enlarge them.