Always Real

Nikon Goeth Before A Fall

One day last week or so, we got a bright and sunny day in the middle of what has been a long season of persistent gray and dreary.  So, when I picked Sean up from school I suggested that instead of going home, we should stop off at the local nature trail and go exploring.  And I could take pictures.

Yes, I had an ulterior motive.  Or, as I like to think of it, I had a plan with something for everyone.  I got to play with my camera and Sean got to pretend to be Bear Grylls.  And unleash some of that explosion-sound-making-Ninja-karate-chopping-little-boy energy into the pseudo wilderness.  Okay, that part was really for me too if you’re keeping score.

When we had gotten to the point furthest away from the car, he pointed to a log that had fallen across a shallow stream and asked if he could try to cross it.  I estimated that the worst thing that could happen is that he would fall in and get wet.  I told him he could give it a try if he wanted but that he should consider that if he fell in and got wet he would have to walk back to the car wearing wet clothes and shoes and that would not be very comfortable.

It was a risk he was willing to take, and frankly, I thought it was a good choice. A risk where the worst outcome is a little dirt or discomfort is a risk worth taking.

Aaaaand he fell in.

But he did not fuss or complain other than to say he was disappointed that we had to cut our adventure short. I helped him up the side of the muddy creek embankment and we headed back to the car to change clothes.

Sidebar:  If you are a new mom, here’s a little tip for you:  Always always keep a bag of clothes in your car with at least one change of clothes for your kiddo – pants, shirt, undies, socks and shoes, a light jacket or sweatshirt, wet wipes and a few plastic bags for the dirty clothes.  The bag of extra clothes I keep in my car has been a lifesaver many times over.  I usually keep clothes in the bag that we don’t mind parting with because on more than one occasion, we’ve had to outfit other children.  Just remember to change out the clothes seasonally.

As we were approaching the parking lot, Sean turned to me and challenged me to race him to the car and he took off running.  Not one to decline a challenge, I hugged my camera to my chest and trotted after him.

I watched him running ahead of me, coppery brown hair sparkling in the afternoon sunlight, his colt-like legs striding long and graceful.  It made me feel happy.  And I thought that it just doesn’t get any better than this.  “C’mon Mom!” he turned to yell at me as he continued to sprint towards the car.

In the weird slow motion time warp that is my mind I wanted to warn him to watch where he was going, to not run while looking back at me, because I could see that he was heading towards a row of parking stumps and I imagined him stumbling over them and crashing his perfect and precious form into the cruel pavement.

The impending scene played out so slowly in my head but so quickly before my eyes that I couldn’t make my lips form words of warning.  But at the last second, he turned and loped easily over the parking stumps.

I, on the other hand — who apparently can’t trot and have a complex thought at the same time — I began to stumble over air. My upper body got ahead of me and I began list forward as I was trotting along.  I’m a little top heavy to begin with but with the added weight of my Nikon around my neck aiding and abetting the laws of gravity, I went down hard on the pavement — knees, then hands and camera.

Sometimes when you fall, you know its coming and you think to yourself, “Uh oh, I am going to fall down.” This wasn’t like that. The space of time between realizing I was going to fall and realizing I was on the ground was deleted from the history of the universe.  It never happened. I was here and then there and the space between here and there was neither here nor there — it wasn’t ever there.

I was so focused on saving him from stumbling, that I crashed and burned myself before I knew it. Oh, if ever there was a Christian analogy.

I heard my camera hit the ground with an awful crisp metal crack.  The lens filter went flying and as I was splayed out face down out on the pavement trying to figure out what the heck happened, I heard it somewhere off to the side circling and spinning like a penny on its edge before it came to rest.  That was not a cheerful sound.

My hands were encrusted with parking lot pebbles and grit and felt like they were on fire. My jeans had clean scissor-like slits ripped in both knees which exposed a river of bright red blood. I couldn’t think clearly enough to decide whether to dig gravel out of my hands first or to see about the fate of my camera.

I felt very old and stiff.  And humiliated.   And I wanted to cry. Not because I was hurt, because I would heal (although it takes a lot longer than it used to) but what if I had busted my camera?  That thought was too agonizing to process.

Miraculously, due to the amazingly sturdy magnesium alloy construction that is Nikon, my camera was fine. No busted glass, no worse for the wear. And that is why I chose Nikon – I knew this would happen sooner or later. I have a long history with dumbassery and the scars to prove it. If there is a point to this story, and I’m not sure there is, it is this: Buy Nikon.


See what a nice crisp picture a Nikon can capture as it’s bashing into concrete?

As for me, I am not made of magnesium alloy, and I didn’t get off as easily as my camera.  Sean rushed back to me and helped me up, pausing only to marvel over the coolness that was my bloody knee.  He clapped his hands and then gleefully rubbed them together like a mad scientist and suggested that we should head home where he could “doctor me up”.

And so he did.  When we got home, I was instructed to wait in the bathroom until he could find his doctor kit. After scrounging around in his toy box, he returned to attend to the wounded.

I sat on the edge of the tub while he donned surgical gloves and dabbed at my knee with a wet paper towel.  He listened to my heart with his stethoscope and gave me a shot in the thigh, just in case.  He very gently put on a dollop of “Neopesporverin” and then two or seven band-aids.  And then offered to share a Tootsie Pop with me.

And I have to tell you — that memory alone is probably worth the price of a scraped knee.

The doctor is in.

47 thoughts on “Nikon Goeth Before A Fall

  1. Phew! I was waiting and afraid to read on…but I am sooo glad that you and the camera are okay!

    And the blue sky and green grass have me feeling sooooo jealous! A picture with those colors is a far way off up here in MN!

  2. I read your blog because you are able to pull of saying both “Christian” and “dumbass” in the same post. (And having those be UN-related things, by the way)

  3. The same thing happened to me yesterday, only my camera was OK. My daughter had a tennis match and I told another mother that I would take pictures of all the girls for the slideshow at the banquet. It was very cold and occasionally snowing. I was just walking from court to court snapping away and one foot went into a hole. I lost my balance coming out of the hole and for a second thought I would recover, this felt very slow motion and staggered across a path and proceeded to fall in the grass. My first thought was that I hope my camera didn’t get damaged, it didn’t, but then I thought I hope my daughter didn’t see (how mortified a 16 year girl would be to see her mother fall in front of the entire
    girls tennis team) Amazingly I was fine the camera was fine and I took the camera back to the car and didn’t take any more pictures. But it was sure a slow motion fall and at one point I thought I am not going to fall, but alas I did.
    So glad you have been patched up.

  4. Ohhhh. Glad the camera is fine, and hope the knees heal quickly. (Probably a good thing you were wearing jeans to take the edge off the impact!)

    This kind of writing is why I read your blog. And just because you can write like this doesn’t mean you owe it to the world to keep writing … but I do think it’s a gift, and I hope it finds some outlet, and audience, in the end.

  5. While I was reading this post I was afraid I would slowly morph into the computer screen– I wasn’t sure how the post would end, but I just wanted to “get more” of the story.
    Glad to hear your knees and camera will be healed soon.
    I Love reading here.

  6. Do we HAVE to stifle a laugh when someone falls down? I’ll admit to having laughed this time, but only because 1. your writing invites it, and 2. I’ve been there, minus the hot camera, and I absolutely dread being there again, now that I have a baby. In my nightmare, though, all my daughter’s friends [at 10 mos., she doesn’t have any yet, but I can clearly see their scary little faces in this horror story!] are laughing snarkily or, conversely, wondering why the old lady was running . . . which is why I’m now working on fitness in a way that didn’t interest me in my 20’s. Ugh.

    I love this blog! Thanks for at least this much more. =)

    P.S. And thanks for the new-mom tip; mom-advice means so much more to me coming from someone who isn’t old enough to be the hypothetical mother of my hypothetical granchild. 😉

  7. Such a beautiful moment of mommyhood… when the comforted become the comforter. When such tenderness is shown, you have to know you’ve done SOMEthing right!

    I love that he offered you a tootsie-pop! lol

  8. That hurts me all over. Ugh. Glad that you and your camera will recover. And sad that my dollars just went into a Canon. I will do that eventually. At that point, I guess I’ll get a Nikon…

  9. I’m so glad that both you and the camera are ok. Sounds like to had some expert medical care.

    Oh, and that history of dumbassery… I have my own, complete with matching scars. You make me laugh!

  10. I fell like that once in a trip. I have the odd picture to prove it. It didn’t break my camera either, just my pride. And I remember the first words out of my mouth were ‘oh no, my camera!’ as I hobbled back to my feet.

    But I didn’t have a handsome doctor to fix me up though. : )

  11. Wow, good to know that my Nikon will hold up to more than the occasional fall off the couch it’s had! Although you can bet I won’t be trying it on purpose!

    I like that you let Sean try to cross the stream anyway. We took a parenting class this weekend (Love and Logic) and they were talking about letting kids take risks now that don’t involve a lot of harm. Wet clothes = not a lot of harm, but he got to make his own decision! Cool!

  12. What a relief!! And how sweet of your little guy!

    I however, would like suggestions for a new lens for my Nikon D50. Because…it fell off one simple step and it broke!! Not the camera, just the lens.

    Come to think of it, the lens is a Tamron…the body is a Nikon.

    Hmmm…maybe I’ll get a Nikon lens next!!

    Glad to hear you’re ok!

  13. Oh, ow! You poor thing! Our Olympus ‘Tough’ cameras are also really sturdy… AND waterproof. I hope you heal up really quickly, keep those scrapes clean!

  14. I had forgotten how funny your post was that you linked to (My Cool Has Been Revoked). Needed a laugh today. Hope your knee and your pride gets to feeling better soon!

  15. Oh, really great story! I was kind of holding my breath about the camera. And, oh, sorry about your knee.


  16. And this is why you can’t stop posting! (she whines selfishly) You have too many wonderful moments – or, rather, the ability to make even less-than-wonderful moments enjoyable.

    Glad you and the camera are OK – and you’d have gladly sacrificed both to keep him from hurting himself.

  17. Glad you all will heal. Just wondering, had he left the kit behind for a while? We had something similar happen last week, and it really healed my heart, which had been bruising lately. Those sweet boys are a true gift. Thanx for the post. Heal quickly and enjoy that gorgeous weather!

  18. I hate that thing of how I heal more slowly than I used to.

    I love your story, and I love the photo that is the Nikon hitting the ground.

  19. Oh ouch.
    Good thing you had Dr. Cuteness to fix you up.
    And on your sidenote, I too cannot even begin to tell you how many times having a change of clothes in my car (I keep the wipes in my purse we can NEVER be out of reach of wet wipes) has saved my bacon.

  20. Aw, that hurts. Glad you’re (mostly) ok.

    I also found myself holding my breath waiting to find out how your d80 faired…! Love mine as you know, and never leave home without a filter firmly attached. I’ve been more than happy to sacrifice a filter while saving the lens.

    But your doctor story is the best ever…makes me smile inside & out!

  21. I had three sons, all of whom are grown now with children of their own. If I had had a blog I would remember more of those great stories. I didn’t even have a computer back then. Pictures and my memory will have to do.
    Your story was just lovely. I love how you and your little man connect and how you let him think things through.
    I had my children early and was a busy working mom of 3. It was easy to get caught up in the busy and not see the beauty of boys. But it was there and I appreciate how rich they made my life.
    Actually I should tell them more often.
    After my husband died I tried not to impose on them. This morning I actually had to because my car was making a noise that I did not like. Son #1 came right over and is awaiting me now to come to his house and he will put in the new “belt” lol. He has a heated garage and we live in Minnesota. He’s not quite a doctor like your little guy but he’s good at fixing things. And by the way – he’s 38, I am 57.


  22. YOU are so lucky in regards to your camera! I dropped my D60, lens down, on the concrete at my daughter’s school on splash day………..thought it was around my neck. UGH. It seemed fine until her birthday party the next day:( No preview of the photos, slow shutter. $240 later it was back to normal:(

  23. What a story!!I’m glad you (and your camera) are okay! It’s a good thing that you have that cute little doctor to fix you up!! I never feel as good as when my boys take care of me, such a warm fuzzy feeling! On the other hand my husband recently became my “personal trainer” and I’m just not feelin the love as much!

  24. Oh! Such a sweet story! So sorry you fell though, I cringed at that part. But, I am happy I don’t have to offer my sympathy over the loss of your camera. I don’t know about your house, but around here a computer and then a camera would have been a little tough. There would have been much weeping and wailing. Whew!

  25. Hope you heal quickly. You are a wonderful story teller and I was hanging on to every word. Sean is such a darling boy. Through your stories and pictures I feel as though I have watched him grow and mature along with my own grandkids. Thank for sharing.

  26. I’m so sorry for your fall. I had to laugh, though….”dumbassery”…perfect word:)
    That boy! So sweet!

  27. Oh what a terrible thing to happen…and that is why I rarely go out anymore…I am so afraid of falling…at my age it would not be a good thing for sure…and I don’t have a “small doctor in the making” to help me heal!!!! Glad the camera is ok…and you are ok…and Sean had a good time dunking…oh mercy..just glad it was not any worse…God Bless..hugs..Ora in KY

  28. awww, that boy of yours…. he is SO sweet! I am very glad that you and your camera are okay. Yay for the durability of a Nikon!

  29. So true about keeping a change of clothes in the car. I already do that for the potty-training (ish) crowd, but not for the oldest. But there have been enough times where we’ve played at the park and the kids have soaked their entire outfits (hello, PNW) on wet slides and such.

  30. I too havae had that s l o w fall, You know its happening but, Mine was at lunch time in the middle of the city park with all the city watching , so if ever you feel the need to fall again try doing it in front of a group of strangers who cant help but laugh at you, very daunting, I loved how yur dear little man helped you so precious are those moments and all the more for you taking the time to share

  31. OW! Thank goodness you and the camera are OK, heck, the camera probably saved you from actually going as far as a face-plant. Cute doctors definitely help too.

    I am so with you on the clothes thing, I started back when diaper explosions were a regular thing, but still do it now that she’s 5 and a half.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve LOVED being able to tell my child “Sure, go ahead and jump in that mud puddle/pond/ocean!”, knowing I had the backup outfit.

  32. good to know Nikons are so tough. hubby bought a D40 for me, and even though someone mentioned you have a D80, I’m hoping the quality brand it enough. I am terrified of banging, dropping it.We’ve ruined a camera that way before. My kids aren’t allowed anywhere near it. I’m clutzy enough by myself.

    I love your writing skills.

  33. I always seem to fall on my butt in the most public of places. Last night I managed to prove my lack of grace in front of the entire group of contestants for our best legs in a kilt contest. Chasing after a woman who left her checkbook, I fell down the steps and into some low bushes. I did not land softly. I was consoled by the fact that I lost my dignity in front of a bunch of guys in skirts and ridiculous St. Patrick’s Day garb. Hope your wounds are healing.

  34. I love reading your blog! It lead me through an experience of so many emotions. When you got to the falling part I felt my face contorting, my jaw drop and after a short while realized I was not breathing, lol. But when I got to the pic of your amazing boy dawning surgical gloves my eyes welled up. He does remind me of my son when he was small.
    OK, I’m a little emotional today. My son is coming for a visit tomorrow. It will be the first time I’ve seen him in more than 2 years…as he has moved to TX from the east coast. He’s bringing his girlfriend with him too!
    I’m glad you and your camera are ok. Heal well.

  35. Glad you are OK. I will never again tell my boys to suck it up, they are OK when they fall and scrape their hands on the concrete. It hurts!! I did it while riding my sons scooter. My husband says I am an amature Razor scooter rider! Hope you heal quickly.

  36. That is a great tip about keeping an extra pair of clothes for your kids in the car. I found this out the hard way….we were on a 2 hour drive to visit my husband’s aunt, and our daughter got car sick and threw up all over her pretty dress. Needless to say, we showed up at his aunt’s house with our daughter in her diaper only! good thing it was a very hot day that day…so she wasn’t cold at all.

  37. This story made me laugh so much. I love the shot the camera made bouncing off the concrete.
    And I agree, the chance for Sean to be doctor to you is priceless. Don’t you love it when our children can show their love by taking care of us when we have owies?

  38. You have a wonderful way with words. It is hard to tell such an engrossing story when the memory of it has to be painful to yourself. I too love my Nikons. My “old” SLR is still a best friend after 30 years. My newer DSLR is a good companion, working on best friend status.
    Oh- and extra clothing in the car is even more important when kids are at the teenage-I don’t need advice- age.
    Hope you heal quickly.

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