Taking one for the team
It was a shameful sight in the Patterson home.
While my husband Jason and our children carried on with their nightly activities in our home, I was sprawled out in the recliner, unable to move.
With my legs propped up, I had finally found a comfortable way to sit with a big ice pack on my left knee. My pants were covered with grass stains, my knees were swollen with pain and my pride was hurting.
How did I get in this situation? I was crippled in an effort to make my children laugh.
Just one giggle, one snicker or one belly-busting laugh from my son and daughter were all I wanted. Now, I am alone in agony.
It all began with a simple afternoon game of basketball in the back yard. The weather was perfect for some outdoor time with the kids. So, armed with a variety of outside toys, we began our afternoon of merriment.
We shot a few foam missiles into the tree. We tossed the football around a few times. Our son James got a few baseball swings in. And our daughter Elsie hauled some dirt around in her brother’s bulldozer.
When it was announced that a basketball game was in order, I beamed with excitement. Anything dealing with basketball, I am ready.
As Elsie continued to throw a few “dunks” with the help of Daddy in, a healthy game of Horse was included in the mix.
James was getting a little sore at his performance, so I decided I had to do something to brighten his mood.
My grandfather always told me that laughter is the best medicine. No matter what you have to do, make them laugh. Sometimes it’s the only weapon you have.
So I aimed on making James laugh.
Running with the basketball, I noticed Elsie’s pink scooter in my path. I decided that I would “trip” over the scooter and give a dramatic tumble to the ground.
Well, it worked...too well.
Tangling my feet in the scooter, I really did fall to the ground. My knees pounded into the ground, and my entire body shifted onto my left knee.
As I remained on the ground, I managed to thrust the basketball into the air, all while giving a series of whimpers and grunts.
My trick worked because James, Elsie and James all erupted into laughter. I accomplished my goal.
But when I picked myself up from the ground, I noticed that my left knee was throbbing. Dusting the grass and dirt off me, I could see that my knee was already beginning to swell.
Within minutes, it looked like I had two left knees.
Needless to say, I had to sit down the rest of the playtime. And as the sun eased into the hills, I limped back into the house.
“Does it look bad,” I asked Jason, showing my knee off.
“Yeah, it looks bad,” he said. “I can see it swelling from here. Why did you do that?’
“I wanted to make the kids laugh,” I said, limping away to get my ice pack.
While the rest of the house ate their supper, played with their toys and carried on with their lives, I was alone in my anguish.
As James played with his trucks, I told him that I was out for the count.
“See my knee,” I said, pulling up my pant leg. “That is what I did trying to get you to laugh.
“Oh,” he said.
Oh? That was it?
I guess I will think twice before I go throwing myself into danger again to get a few laughs.
Let’s be honest here... no, I won’t.
It doesn’t matter if I walk away with bruises, bumps or even stitches. If I need to do something outrageous to make my kids laugh, I’ll just have to take my chances.
A home filled with laughter is the best place you can be.