The other night, we reached Ruby’s bedtime.
“I’ll be upstairs,” I called down to her. “Meet me when you’re done brushing your teeth.”
I heard a thump, and then Ruby making a whole lot of noise. I couldn’t tell if she was laughing or crying. I walked over to the stairs. Ruby made it halfway up the stairs and collapsed.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
Crying. Definitely crying. Ruby lifted her head and ran past me up the stairs. She fell onto her bed, hands covering her face.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?”
Ruby looked up at me.
“I hit my head on the wall,” she said. “It hurts.”
A huge lump stuck out of her forehead. She looked like a long-lost Klingon. I swallowed back my fear.
“Let’s get some ice on that.”
I ran back down the stairs and threw some ice in a baggie. Lord, help! Jonathon had rehearsal, so I was the adult in charge. Ruby placed the bag on her forehead with care.
“I’m so embarrassed,” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“I’m crying about it.”
I thought about that. Ruby has the Isham high tolerance for pain. Neither she nor Jonathon say anything unless the pain has reached a 9 or better.
“Hey, I would be crying, too. You hit the wall hard. What happened, anyway?”
“Well, I was running, and I hit the corner of the wall outside the bathroom.”
The real reason we tell people not to run in the house, I thought. She looked at me, tears leaking out of her eyes onto her red cheeks.
“I dented the wall.”
“We sold the house, and now you’re customizing it?!”
Ruby put the ice pack down and felt her forehead.
“I look like Frankenstein,” she mourned.
“Yes,” I said. “But it’s temporary. We’ll get the swelling down and you’ll be just fine. You scraped your head, too, so there’ll be a bruise and maybe a red mark.”
Today, she’s left with a red line on her forehead and two mini-shiners.The case? Unstoppable force met immovable object. Yes, she really *did* run into a wall. I hate it when they jump out in front of me like that. Here’s your Groundhog Day PSA: Be careful out there, folks.