5.18.2010

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!

© shoutingforha
My boy got a BB gun for Christmas in 2007. After opening the gift, the hubby and I rolled out a list of safety rules that he needed to follow in order enjoy his new gift. It was a long list.

Among the rules were things like keeping the gun pointed towards the ground at all times unless specifically aiming at a target, making sure that the safety was locked when the gun was not in use, and never aiming at anyone or anything other than a paper target or one of the tin cans designated for shooting. I could go on.

Over the past almost two-and-a-half years, the boy has proven to be the model of safety. He has been so careful in fact, that we agreed to let him shoot the BB gun in the backyard all by himself.

Now before I get a bunch of people writing to tell me what a terrible mother I am, I would like to say a few words in my defense.

For one thing, the boy is never really out of our sight. On the few occasions (specifically two) that he used his BB gun alone, either the hubby or I were watching through the windows/back door. If we had ever noticed the boy begin to stray from the rules, we would have snatched the gun from his hands, given him a long and probably loud lecture, and then sent the child to bed.

We have zero tolerance for shenanigans where safety is concerned.

Fast forward to yesterday... I was in the kitchen, working on dinner. The chicken was marinating, the fingerling potatoes were seasoned and ready to go in the over to roast, and the broccoli raab was trimmed and ready to throw in a pan. Everything was coming together perfectly.

The boy wandered over and asked me if he could shoot his BB gun. After giving it some thought, I told him that he had my permission to shoot the gun for a few minutes before dinner. I reminded him of the safety rules, and like always, he promised to adhere to them all.

I removed the BB gun from it's perch on top of a large glass-door hutch in the kitchen (I can barely reach over the top molding while standing on a tall stool). The boy took the gun and headed out the back door. I watched through the kitchen window as he walked to the middle of the yard and took aim at a tin pail.

I looked away for a moment to place the potatoes in the oven to roast. I then turned and grabbed a box of matches from the cabinet with the intention of immediately heading out back to light the grill. We are charcoal people here at the Ha house.

At that moment, the back door opened and the boy screamed, "I shot myself!" My heart literally skipped a beat and I began to feel nauseous. Before I even had time to move, he shouted, "I shot my hand!"

I will admit that my initial concern was that the child had shot himself in the face, or more specifically his eye. This fear is clearly the result of one too many viewings of the holiday classic, A Christmas Story.

Knowing that the wound was merely on the boy's hand gave me a strange sense of relief.

The boy, who was sobbing hysterically, was clutching his right hand. I could tell that he was bleeding, so I grabbed one of my kitchen towels to apply a little pressure. Holding him close, I told him that I was going to remove the towel and have a little peek at his hand.

I cannot even begin to tell you the relief I felt as I examined his hand. The impact wound was located on the top knuckle of his middle finger. There was a tiny cut and a fair amount of bruising. No broken bones, no wounds requiring stitches... The boy was incredibly lucky.

When the boy was finally calm enough to speak, I asked him what happened. He explained, "I was trying to put a worm down the barrel of my gun. I thought it would be cool to try and shoot it out." He continued, "I knew that it was a stupid idea and had a bad feeling about it, but I did it anyway... and now I've been shot!"

We had a long talk about being safe and making good choices. More importantly, we discussed the importance of listening to that still, small voice in our hearts. God is gracious to spare us from so many bad things when we just listen and do what we know is right.

As I was tucking the boy into bed, he asked if I had ever seen him that upset before. I hadn't. His response...

"Well, you see Mama, I had never been shot before. I didn't know what to expect and that was really scary."

The boy is right. It was scary. So scary, in fact, that I am convinced a few dozen of my hairs instantaneously turned white. Nothing like a little excitement to shave a few years off a Mama's life.

*** The picture above is the boy shooting his BB gun for the first time, Christmas 2007.

3 comment(s). Leave yours!:

helen said... Best Blogger Tips

Happy to hear the Ha Boy's injury was minimal.
He's curious to say the least.

Chelle said... Best Blogger Tips

Knowing he is ok, I must say I burst with laughter that a worm was the cause of his flesh wound. Only.a.boy.

mshike said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow! I'm glad he is alright! Those would be scary words to hear "I shot myself!". I'd have MORE than a few white hairs...lol!

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