Apples, Trees, and Jungle Gyms · 11 January 2008

It is said that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Apparently, they do not fall far from the jungle gym either.

When I was in elementary school, I got a concussion. It was not from football or wrestling around with my brother. I got it from the jungle gym. We used to play freeze tag on the jungle gym and one of my friends was really fast at getting around the rectangular gridwork of metal bars. He would swing his legs through and trusting his momentum, would let go with both hands to grab the next overhead bar. He was so fast that he would always tag everybody and win the game every recess. One day, I tried to emulate my friend. I got some momentum with my body but missed the next overhead bar after letting go. Instead of flying through the bars, my head hit the lower bar and I fell from the jungle gym with a concussion.

The reason that I thought of that incident was because our youngest son, Thing 3, recently fell from the jungle gym at his school. Rather, the jungle gym reached out and gave him a nasty cut instead of a concussion. He hit the front of his head near his eye where there is not much but skin and bone. The impact of metal and skull cut his head and he got his first set of stitches. When he gets older and the scar is muted, he can tell curious friends that he had a sword fight with some pirate. “But you should see the other guy,” will be the ending of that story. Naturally.

I have no scar from my fall from the jungle gym and no story to tell of how the Dread Pirate Roberts or Captain Hook tried to cut off my head and just barely cut me instead. I have only the vague remembrance of a headache and seeing my hands just miss the bar. In slow motion. It is probably just a made up memory brought on by the watching of many movies and the need to fill the blackness of being knocked out. But even though my wife would disagree, it might be more fun to have the little scar and the big story rather than the headache and fake memory.

When Thing 3 came home with the stitches and his own jungle gym story, I could not help but have pride in the fact that my progeny was taking after his father in some small way. Even if it was in a dubious way. I could not help but think that my kids are growing up and I can not always be there to catch them when they fall or clap loudly on when they succeed. Or write the stories when they really mess up. I could not help but think that the apple surely does not fall far from the tree. Or jungle gym.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 31 January 2008 in The RiverCurrentNews


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