It all started with two bloody knuckles or maybe it all started with my birth. I guess that’s the real beginning but for the sake of brevity we’ll begin on a beautiful day when I biked out to the end of an island over the boardwalk into the sand and let the bike rest while I dove into the ocean.
I came out refreshed feeling like I had the world all figured out. I held my shoes while trying to ride the bicycle, but the path away from the beach went downhill and I couldn’t really control the momentum while holding my sandals. For a second I thought I was due a bad fall, but my right hand merely went into the railing stopping the bicycle while scraping my pinky and ring finger knuckles. They bled as I biked away and eventually they scabbed up. A week later they seemed on their way to healing, but I suppose for someone who doesn’t get into fights my knuckles are magnets for trouble.
I was loading the dishwasher and of all the places for a dirty fork to scratch me, it landed on my still tender knuckle leaving blood everywhere. My Love Interest saw this and looked for bandages. None in the house, but she had tape and one of those first aid pads. When she was done it looked like I suffered a brutal injury when a little band-aid would have sufficed.
We went to the grocery store and I forgot about the bandage because we were trying something new. We stuck our daughter in the little basket at the top of the shopping cart.
We wheeled her around and it was like she was a local celebrity. People were waving and pointing and smiling as we picked up bananas and tofu. At the checkout line these two ten year old girls were going crazy over her. They were holding her hands and going nuts with compliments. I joked that they were angling for a babysitting job and one of the girls was saying how she once watched a cousin for half an hour so she could do it.
Their mother turned to my Love Interest while admiring our daughter and said, “She’s breastfed, isn’t she?” An assent. She smiled and looked at one of her children. “This one, I breast fed until she was five.”
I was occupied missing any more bombs that might have been dropped while loading our food on the conveyor belt. As I paid for the groceries I put my wallet back in my pocket and one of the girls asked, “What happened to your hand?”
“Just a little cut. It’s not as bad as it looks.” As we left the store. I mentioned, “Man those were nice kids.” Though I was worried their scars might run even deeper than mine.