They don't call me Grace for nothing

My teammates on my high school basketball team decided one year that every one needed a nickname. Most got cool nicknames like "T-Dawg" or "Lightnin'".

I got "Trip."

Yes, I fall a lot. Or I run into trees while playing tag in the dark. Or I fall out of my chair at work. Or I trip in the movie section at Target. (Those horror DVDs, man, they will get you EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.) I'm not allowed to have a sharp knife in my hands in my mother's presence, and every time I climb a ladder, people around me shout, "Oh my God! Get down!"

When you are as graceful as I am, these minor little incidents leave footprints on your body. OK, fine, they're scars, but I like to think of them as footprints. They help to tell the story of me.

My favorite has been with me for 29 of my 32 years. I remember vividly the day I got it. Actually, I think it's safe to say that this was one of my earliest memories.

I'm not sure if I could have been considered a "good little helper" or just too curious about things for my own good, but this particular day, I was "helping" my mom iron clothes. My first memory is of my mom's voice:

"April, don't touch the ironing board."

Naturally, what did I do the first chance I got when my mom turned her back? I put my hands on the ironing board, and the next thing I remember is PAIN.

The hot iron landed smack on my left hand.

My memory after that is fuzzy. I remember feelings more than anything. The pain I felt. The tears streaming down my face. How scared my mom's voice sounded.

After the wound healed, I had a scar that covered my whole hand and was extremely noticeable. I would get questions about it all the time, but I never was self conscious about it. I loved to tell the story of my scar. It was a battle wound for me.

Now, I know what you're thinking. What a terrible first memory! Right? That is what your thinking? I don't see it as terrible. It helps to tell the story of me. It's smaller now and a bit faded, but every time I look down at my left hand, there it's been for as long as I can remember. And every time I look at it, I smile.

It's one of the first footprints of my life.

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Heather Anne Hogan said...

And you even ended up with the gift of left-handedness. You're so damn lucky.

AnnG said...

I have a similar first memory! These memories are what make us who we use denying it or trying to change it! Sounds very scary for your mom, though!!

Kirsten said...

I earned the nickname Grace in middle school. I was walking out the gym doors into the hallway, heard someone call my name, turned my head, sorta leaned back in my turning, and the door slammed right on my hip bones...only my hip bones. Had the funkiest bruises ever.

Footprints. I like that. I have many too. Not sure of my first though. Nothing quite as memorable as a hot iron.

Jennie said...

That must be a rough age. I think that's how old I was when I fell down and cracked my head on the corner of the coffee table. I have not gotten any more graceful.

Roo said...

I run into things even when I see them there. I trip over non-existent items on the floor. I get bruises and have no idea where they came from. I'm classy like that. :)

But like K, I love the idea of "footprints".

Mendie said...

That's a good first memory...taught you a lesson! And I've been known to trip up the stairs, so I feel your pain sister!

Mommy Mo said...

I rolled my ankle walking to the gabage can in the garage. Moral of the story- never take out the trash! I now have a "footprint" on my ankle, lol.

Heather D said...

I too am a klutz. There are two very vivid memories of klutziness:
1) I was a high jumper in HS and one day in practice I misjudged my take off and missed the mat. Pavement meet back. Yeeouch.
2) I was prepping a homecoming float in the dark and ran into the hitch thingy that connected the trailer to the truck not once but twice. In like three minutes. I dented my shins. DENTED.

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