When I was a kid, I got into so many accidents that I could list them all here and probably meet the word count. It’s probably due to the fact that I hit my growth spurts relatively early and took quite a long time to grow into my new height. Or it may just be that I was extraordinarily clumsy. Whatever the reason, the fact still stands that I managed to injure myself a superhuman amount of times. From tripping over thin air, to hospitalizing myself twice in a week over biking accidents, I was constantly sorting scabbed knees and an assortment of bruises. Whatever could go wrong did in my case, or it seemed to.
Some were due to tripping over my own feet or similar incidents, but more than a few of them were due to the fact that I was a bit of a daredevil. I climbed as high as I could in every tree I could find. I lived for the feeling of scaling the branches until they were so thin they swayed beneath even me, who, at that age, probably weighed less than a blade of grass. I adored the feeling of looking down and seeing my friends look like ants.
I remember, once, when I was left unsupervised at the house of my friend who had just moved. I could just grab onto the first branch on the tree out back if I jumped. It took me twenty minutes, two scraped elbows, and a ruined shirt, but I finally got into the tree. From there on it was almost too easy to get dangerously high. I was so caught up in the feeling of being so high that I didn’t realize I couldn’t hear my friend shouting from the ground until I glanced down. Suddenly hyper-aware of how high I was, I looked to see how close I was to the top of the roof next to the tree and saw blank space. I was about twenty feet above the roof of the massive house, and I loved it. Eventually, I climbed down because I was hungry, and got scolded by my mom, but I still think it was worth it.
For the five years between kindergarten and fourth grade, I was almost constantly injured, and sometimes quite badly, too. I was hospitalized twice in a week for two separate biking incidents, and whenever I got injured, it was met with “not again.” Still, I had breaks and sprains and fractures and hello-kitty-band-aid worthy cuts so much that I simply got used to it after long enough. I remember, once, when I broke my leg in the aforementioned biking incident in kindergarten, that, on the way to the hospital, I rapidly switched back and forth between making broken leg jokes (I thought break a leg was supposed to be a good thing?) to squeezing my dad’s hand so hard that he said that he might have to join me in the ER. After I got my cast (pink, extending from the middle of my foot to above my knee), I thought it was the most awesome thing in the world, which is a direct quote from kindergarten-aged me, and, as soon as I received my wheelchair, quickly demoted the cast to second place. I was extremely disappointed when I was told I couldn’t use it as a bike and ride down a hill on it.
I was in that cast for six weeks, and it quickly lost its place on the “Most Awesome Things In The Entire Universe” list, as I discovered that it was miserable having a cast on during one of the hottest summers I’d ever experienced. Not to mention that I missed both my first and the school's last field day. And I couldn’t swim until my leg was fully healed. If you really want to make a kindergartener to hate you, especially if “you” are an inanimate object, that’s the way to go. I overheard my mom talking on the phone with one of her friends, who was almost certainly the mother of one of my friends, and she remarked that she was lucky that I wasn’t really upset that my broken leg was getting in the way of having fun outside, or really anywhere there isn't air conditioning. She was close, but she missed the point. I was so upset that my broken leg was interfering with my summer. I would spend a slightly worrying amount of time just glaring at the pink monstrosity I was required to wear. I despised it more than I did broccoli, and I once called that the most despicable thing to ever curse me with its presence.
But just because I hated it doesn’t mean that I let it ruin my summer, which, to me, was the best time of the year because there was no school. So I made the best of a bad situation. If I couldn’t go outside with friends, well, it was like 100 billion degrees anyway, and we would have ended up going back inside. If I couldn’t go swimming, well, all the neighborhood toddlers probably used it as a bathroom.
But that’s not my point. I didn’t come here to write a 1,000-word essay about the bathroom habits of toddlers that live near me. My point is that the ability to make the best of a bad situation is an important one, especially for people who find themselves tripping into them quite a lot. That’s not to say that it’s wrong to recognize when a situation is just about the worst thing that could have happened. The trick is to not focus on it. You have to ask if you’re really having a bad day or did you just have a bad five minutes you got yourself stuck on. Bad things only affect you so much.