Kids are all bumps, bruises, and smiles

On a recent weekend my nearly 3-year-old granddaughter Ada was visiting us, and enthusiastically sliding down a small hill behind our Mount Vernon home, when she fell off the sled and slid along the ground, scratching her face and wrist.

But she bounced right up and ran back up the hill, smiling and eager to slide again. That reminded me of how resilient kids are, and brought back a lot of memories of bumps and bruises during my childhood.

I was quite young when I jumped off the shed roof and drove a spike right through my foot. The spike was attached to a small board and I couldn’t get it out of my foot, so I stomped into the house, spike and board still attached. I’m sure my Mom could hear me coming: clomp, clomp, clomp. She rushed me to the local doctor’s office where he removed the spike, board and all, and treated my foot.

One time I fell out of the apple tree in our front yard, and followed my parents around for about an hour until they decided I had broken my wrist.

Bees seemed to really dislike me. I was out in the backyard once with a friend when a hive full of bees settled on me – and none on her. We ran down to the house and my friend went into the house and got my mother’s attention. Mom rushed out with a broom and started whipping the bees off me with it. We were in the front yard and a couple of neighbors wondered why Mom was beating me with a broom!

This was one of several times I got attacked by bees. I guess maybe that comes with being an outdoors kid?

I was also susceptible to poison ivy, getting it every year, usually several times a year. I remember having to stay home from school for more than a week with a very bad case. We’d burned the grass near the school, and I got poison ivy all over my body from the smoke. Another time I got it in the winter from a summer shirt I’d pulled out of the attic and worn. Eventually, I’d gotten it so many times that I developed a resistance, and I’ve not had poison ivy since I was in my twenties.

My grandsons are not averse to bumps and bruises either. Nine-year-old Vishal got a bloody nose during a recent basketball game, hurried into the locker room to fix that, and was back in the game soon after. His 12-year-old brother Addison had operations on both wrists this year but was back playing basketball in record time.

Yes, kids are all bumps and bruises, but that sure doesn’t stop them!

PHOTO: 2015 – grandchildren: Vishal, Ada, and Addison

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.