My kids might be growing up fast, but we never cross the road without me saying ‘Cross carefully’. This is after we’ve already stopped, looked and listened and ascertained that we are safe to cross. I tell them to walk quickly – too slow and you risk a car appearing from nowhere as you trudge across in a dreamworld, run and you risk falling over. Unbelievably, perhaps, for my accident-prone kids, no-one has ever fallen over in the road before.
Until now. We were crossing a busy road in town and my younger son ran. He tripped on his beloved ‘fluff Crocs’ (Crocs with a warm lining for winter) and went down like a ton of bricks in the middle of the road. He didn’t cry. I grabbed him as quickly as I could and bundled him across the road.
It was only when I got him to the other side that I realised he WAS crying. That sort of silent crying kids do when they’re really badly hurt. I’m sure there was an element of shock and fear in there of what might have happened. He’d fallen down in the middle of a busy road. What if…
Without me even saying a word, his brother was rolling up his trouser leg to have a look. There was blood, apparently. ‘Don’t look’ he said to his little brother, knowing how much blood upsets him. He wouldn’t even let me look, he was rolling the trouser leg back down before his brother could catch a glimpse of it.
Next thing I knew, my eldest had my first aid kit out of my bag, without me even noticing (hmm, I’d better beware of pickpockets) and was selecting a plaster and antiseptic cream to fix his brother up.
Struggling slightly with a handful of first aid kit, plasters and antiseptic cream, he handed some of it over to my daughter to assist.
The trouser leg was rolled back up by my eldest, who applied a quite ridiculous quantity of antiseptic cream. Then my daughter opened the plaster and applied it to the cut in the midst of all the greasy antiseptic cream.
Job done. Without a word or any assistance from me and without my boy catching a glimpse of the blood he hates so much.
Brotherly love. I felt so proud of all my children.