This one goes way back...
I was a happy go lucky 3 year old...and the good kid :). My brother was 5. We didn't change roles of bad kid/good kid until i hit my teens, but that's a blog for another day.
My father, a pastor, preached almost every other Sunday at the little chapel on the hill that served as the church building for the ministry he has worked at for the past 25 years. It is a quaint, old-fashioned building with squeaky floors covered in scarlet red carpet and lumpy pews of the same color. It even has a sort of bell tower with a Notre Dame type bell on a rope that you pull to ring. There was an organ on the left, a piano on the right, and a solid wooden pulpit in the middle with a crack running down it from an incident during a deliverance session (also a blog for another day). Outside the chapel, there was a long, concrete sidewalk that curved all the way to the hard, concrete steps. Concrete...pretty hard stuff.
My brother, Jonathan, had a Big Wheel. If you're a child of the 80's, then you'll know that a Big Wheel is a plastic bike with three wheels, a HUGE one in the front, that rides low to the ground. I was a fan of my big brother back then...wanted to be just like him and follow him around and annoy him...all that good stuff little siblings do. So, i watched him place his Big Wheel at the top of the winding sidewalk and ride it all the way down towards the chapel till the huge front wheel bounced harmlessly off the bottom step of the chapel stairs. Woohoo! looked like fun to me. Being the fearless 3 year-old that i was, i promptly climbed aboard my tricycle.
Take a moment to consider the tricycle with me: this bike also has three wheels, but instead of it's occupant riding close to the ground, the cold, red, metal seat is raised high in the air just slightly below the red, metal handlebars.
Ok. So i'm perched on my tricycle and i start pumping the peddles as fast as my little feet will make them go. Down the curving sidewalk i race, gaining momentum with each second. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! The glee didn't last very long. Suddenly, i was heaved from my seat and flying precariously through the air, over the handlebars and landing directly on the soft flesh of my chin. AUGGHHHHH!!!! Actually, it was probably more like, WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! MOMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! You see, i hadn't done the physics or calculus or algebra or geometry or whatever math i should have done at the ripe old age of 3 to realize that me coming to a sudden stop from that speed when sitting so high up in the air probably wasn't a good idea. There were two hits: The tricycle hit the steps, and then my chin hit the steps.
I'm not sure exactly of the events that followed but there was a mixture of blood and tears, and somehow my mom made it to my side. I remember laying on my mom's lap in the car, rushing to the hospital. I remember seeing the big red stain on the white handkerchief that had been stopping the blood flow from my chin. I don't remember this, but my tells me that when she removed the handkerchief to re-situate it or check out the injury (not sure what she was doing), i quickly asked her to put it back because i was afraid my chin would fall off. I remember laying on the hospital bed and being held down while they placed a white cloth over my face with a hole that opened at my chin. I guess they figured it would have been less traumatizing for me to not see what was going on by forcing me to lay on that bed and have my face completely covered. I say the fact that i still remember being under that cloth and being terrified means they were wrong about not traumatizing me. BUT, the stitches made it in, and i lived to tell the story. :)
Besides those few vivid memories, i have one constant reminder of that day: a small, crescent-shaped scar right under my chin...if you look closely you'll see it.