Imagine this, your son or daughter is playing outside and gets a couple of bruises and scrapes. They come inside in the house and what is the first thing you do? Do you call 911? (Don’t laugh people call for minor stuff like that all the time) Do you call his doctor and see if you can get an emergency visit or better yet take them to the ER? Or do you reach for the antibacterial soap, band aids and ice pack and offer them a painkiller? If you agreed to any of those answers above, I suggest you stop here and not read the rest of this blog.
I remember falling from my yellow skateboard and scraping both of my boney knees. When I got home my dad gave me a casual almost nonchalant look and reached for a half-full bottle of Swans green alcohol. Studying my bloodied knees carefully he dashed copious amounts of the evil liquid into my open sores. “BLOW! BLOW! BLOW!” He yelled. I almost had an asthma attack from keeping the alcohol from burning a hole into what felt like my very bone. That single experience taught me how to fall without scraping my knees and fear the green alcohol.
For the few readers who decided to stay, I wanted to say somehow we have become too soft when it comes to our kids. As a child growing up in the middle of Dixieland, I was brought up with the idea that boys had to be strong and girls even stronger. With that being said, if I fell outside and hurt myself while playing I didn’t stop what I was doing. I just bled until it stopped. Back then there was no sympathy for boys. A boy had to practically carry one of his severed parts into the house to get any attention out of his father. And if you think I am joking, even the doctors would call you a sissy if you showed up with minor injury. A black eye then was a badge of honor; today it is a lawsuit to the person or item that made it. A helmet back then was for the special children not for daredevil kids on banged up ten speeds. Today I am surprised that someone hasn’t invented the personal airbag for the perambulating professional. Note if someone does invent that item I claim first rights to it.
Green alcohol has survived ,recalls, bans, frivolous lawsuits and a menagerie of bad parenting books. Oh yes. That emerald green liquid has put the fear of Jesus in the hearts of Southern boys everywhere. It smelled like my grandmothers favorite chewing gum but burned like a huckleberry switch on bare legs. And IF my parents didn’t have anything in their medicine cabinet they had wintergreen alcohol because of the diagnostic properties. Simply put if you were hurt enough to endure the burning pain and still complain you went to the doctor. But if you didn’t complain after the burning pain you weren’t hurt in the first place.
Back then being injured was a physical form of adversity. You either survived the injury or died. It was as simple as that. And it was that adversity made us stronger. Today however parents look for the best antibiotic ointment money can buy for their children whose only real injury comes from falling off of the couch onto soda cans. As a parent I feel we should really ban all the ointments, Band-Aids and topical lotions and resort back to the good ole green alcohol.