Friday, April 1, 2016

The Time My Dad Rolled over My Arm with His Wheelchair

When I was a child -- old enough to be in school but not old enough for high school -- I remember my dad rolling over my arm with his wheelchair.  I keep thinking I must be remembering this wrong.  Wouldn't a 250 lb man in a wheelchair rolling over my forearm break my notoriously bird-like bones?  Regardless, I remember it happening.  

I often laid around on the floor of the living room back then, coloring or snuggling with my dog Angel while the TV played.  It was a hoard house with limited clear spaces for sitting -- a couch and three chairs in the living room, two of which were usually covered in miscellany and faced away from the television anyway -- and since my mother spent multiple hours per day stretched out on the couch napping or trying to nap, the floor was the obvious choice for me. 

I remember crying out in pain as his wheelchair rose up over my arm like it was a speed-bump.  I remember my dad yelling at me that I shouldn't have been in his way.  I remember looking down at my arm and being surprised that it was okay.  Nothing was broken.  It didn't even hurt for that long.  I was mostly surprised.  I assumed at the time that he hadn't seen me there at his feet and that his indignant response had been a reaction to the guilt he felt for having hurt me.  I'm not sure though, looking back, if he could have run over something as three-dimensional as my arm without some effort. 

Now that I think about it, it would have only been one wheel of the chair that rolled over my arm.  My arm wouldn't have had to withstand all 250 lbs of my dad.  Plus, he was in a lightweight manual chair back then, not the heavy-duty electric one that weighs more than me that he got when I was a teenager.  Plus my forearms have always been pretty flat, as far as human limbs go.  I guess it's not so hard to believe I came out unscathed.  I still would have preferred it if he'd said, "Sorry.  I didn't mean to do that."

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