Home » Boys Will Be Boys » Bruises


We all know the popular Train song “Bruises.” In it, the band endears that bruises make for better conversation . . . ain’t that the embarrassing truth if you are a mom of boys.

black eye


Jack, who seems to be a magnet for the law of threes, recently came down with a case of bruise-itis. In my family, this law applies with every. single. injury. This time, it was the fault of the trampoline. Three times. In one day. At least this time the law of threes wasn’t drawn out at all. Nope. Quick, clean, bloodless and to the point.

Early in the morning (let’s say nine am because that seems to be an acceptable time to let a preschooler jump and yell in my backyard. Because eight am would be annoying and rude), my young lad began his day full of jumping, banging on the patio door, jumping, asking for a snack, jumping, ringing the doorbell (picture Caillou hyped up on Mountain Dew and Pixie Sticks). Saving the day like coffee at sunrise were my neighbor boys, jumping for joy (literally, on the trampoline) over their day off from their school and the prospect of playing with little Jack all day. Halleluia. There should have been peace in my house.

Injury numero uno – Jack banged his ear against one of the other kids. “It huwts.” I brushed him off and sent him back out with the credo, “every owie takes you one step closer to being a man.” I’ll be regretting that for a while.

It was mere minutes after I sent him out that I could hear the definitive “I am really hurt and not just crying over nothing” cry piercing the backyard. I looked out and saw him holding his eye and scrambling off the trampoline. When I was able to pry his hand off his eye, all the while praying he hadn’t popped it out (it can happen – I saw it on Grey’s Anatomy), I unintentionally gasped at the immediate swelling of the orbital floor (or “bottom eye socket bone”, as I googled it). When I had convinced myself it wasn’t broken and he was dosed with Advil and exiled to the couch with an ice pack, popsicle and cartoons, I grabbed my camera to document this injury for the whole lot to laugh at later and perhaps learn from.


The best part of him throwing a fit while I photographed his owie? His stupid shirt. “Assemble” is not an appropriate word for tiny clothing.

Apparently, I didn’t learn from it later, because I let him go back out about an hour into his ailment. And he came in again, crying and holding his chin. Beneath it was a red skidmark, a friction burn from the mat. Geez Louise.

So when a friend I babysit for dropped off her toddler and was greeted by Jack’s shiner, she said immediately, “Whoa. Not good when you’re trying to run a daycare!” I laughed right along with her because we’re friends and it was no biggie . . . until that sweet little toddler of hers fell backward and sat down hard against the corner of the wall. Telling her mom in front of my bruised and battered child was a lesson in embarrassment! And the cashier at Bath and Body Works (“What happened to your eye?”) and the cashier at Meijer (“Hey buddy! Where’d you get that bruise?”) and the stranger at the library (“Ouch! That looks like it hurts!”) Yes, it hurt. Yes, we see it. Yes, he knows it’s there. Yes, I know I was irresponsible to let him jump on the trampoline with three older kids. Poor little guy is now embarrassed to go in public. He said he didn’t want to go to t-ball because they’ll all see his eye. He told me as we left Bath and Body Works, “Mom, I don’t wike how ev-we-one talks about my eye.” Me neither, kiddo. But you know what they say about bruises . . .




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