The One With the Clumsies

I'd like to think that my family is fairly sturdy--at least in the sense that it's rare for us to sprain anything and our bones are nice and strong. In fact, until this weekend, I don't think there was a single broken bone between the five of us (unless I'm missing some story from my my parents' past) except maybe that toe my Dad might have broken tripping over a suitcase. But, honestly, it was probably just a sprain. (Men are such wimps about pain, aren't they? ;) Although, I guess I'd better take that back because I've never seen my dad cry before, regardless of how much pain he was in.) What we are is a bit accident prone.

My sister (hi Steph!) is the best example of this. Really, from the time we were kids she was always turning up with this magnificent bruises. And the minute you put her on rollerblades or a bike or a skateboard, she'd turn up about ten minutes later with skinned elbows and knees and a sprained back. There are times when I still think it'd be safer for her to go through life wearing full body armor and a helmet--for instance, when she managed to give herself horrible second degree burns on the back of her legs in college, or when she called me at 8 AM on a Sunday morning because she'd fallen while running broke her front teeth.

We all trip going up and down the stairs. We've all slammed our fingers in the car door. We've all managed to get these weird shin injuries. The only Bracken with good balance appears to be our dog, Stryker, and even he's slipped and fallen into the pool.

I'd LIKE to think I'm a little less accident prone, but I've had my moments, too. When I was a cheerleader in eighth grade (oh yes, I was--and guess who was the pom and cheer coach at the time? Stephenie Meyer's younger sister Heidi), I fell during a routine and crammed my last vertebrae down on my tailbone and my back STILL hasn't fully recovered. I'm far more dangerous in the kitchen. I used to cut myself almost every time I used a knife (an ex-con in D.C. Central Kitchen finally taught me the right way to cut and I have been knife-wound-free ever since). Now I'm all about burning myself, apparently. I have a recent scar on the inner part of my right arm from a steam burn I received from--get this--a microwave lunch. And just last night, as I pulled my (alas, slightly burnt) pie out of the oven, I managed to give myself a second degree burn WHILE WEARING FULL OVEN MITTS.

But my lovely Mama B definitely took the prize this weekend when she fell down two--count them TWO--steps and ended up needing 16 stitches for a gash above her eye--AND she broke her arm. I think she's the first Bracken in my (immediate) family to do so.

This is the exact reason I'll probably never write about a clumsy character--it hits a little close to home.