The Danger of Smooth Skin

When I’m away from my phone and I come back to find a missed call from my wife I call her back.

When I’m away from my phone and I come back to find two consecutive missed calls from my wife I know something is wrong and I call her back quickly.

Last week I had two consecutive missed calls from my wife.

When I called her back, her first words went something like this.  “I thought we were going to have to go to the ER.”

This is never good.  Moms don’t just decide to take the kids to the ER for a spur of the moment field trip.

“Look son.  That’s a GSW to the abdomen.  GSW stands for gun shot wound.  Don’t stare at the poor man.”

My wife would go on to inform me that our two sons were about to wrestle each other when my youngest son decided to dive for my oldest son’s legs.  That turned out to be too far of a leap for my youngest son.  He landed nose first on our hardwood floor.

By the time I got home, all of the screaming had stopped and my son was sitting down, quietly reading a book.  His nose was swollen and had a small cut but everything else seemed to be in order.  I asked him if he was okay and he let me know that he was by firmly pressing his finger down on his nose.  He’ll probably carry a scar with him for the rest of his life to remind him of the time he got in a wrestling match with the floor.  This new scar will go nicely with the one on his chin from when he fell at the bowling alley and the one on his forearm from when I tried to give him a tattoo.  I’m joking.  We don’t take our kids bowling.  What kind of a parent do you think I am?

One of the many dangers our culture is soon to encounter is a generation of kids that are being raised without scars.  Unless you count the blisters that come from hours of video games, too many kids are suffering from smooth skin.  Even if they do manage to venture out, there’s always a helmet or a padded floor involved, all of course under mom and dad’s watchful eye.

Scars make us better because they remind us that mistiming your jump will cause you to do a nose dive into the floor.  Scars are almost like picture books, telling us stories of past adventures.  More importantly scars carry wisdom that helps us deal with more difficult situations in the future.  A generation with no scars is in grave danger.

Certainly there are the types of scars that we don’t want our kids to have.  But in an effort to prevent those from happening, I’m afraid that we may be doing more harm than good.

In their short lives, my two boys have already acquired quite a few scars.  I know that there are more to come.

Eventually, the skin on their knees will turn into one big scar from all the cuts and scrapes that come with being a boy.  I hope these scars will remind them of a fun childhood.

There will be scars from jumping off of something that was a little too high.  These scars should remind them of the importance of cautious, careful planning.

And most likely, there will be the most painful scars.  The ones you can’t see.  The ones you get when someone breaks your heart.  These are the kind of scars that teach the importance of forgiveness and determination.

With the pain that comes with all of these scars there will also be a measure of joy.  Joy because each scar represents a life lived to the fullest as well as an important message that they’re going to need later in life.

Protecting your kids is one of the most important roles you have as a parent.  Just the right amount of bumps, bruises, cuts and scars can be a good reminder that you’re doing that job well.