I was four years old. A chubby little pot belly snot if ever there was one. I had chubby cheeks. Anyhow, I remember my mother was taking me to my grandmother's house. As always, I was just quiet and entertaining myself with imaginary play-things, as my mother describes it, and I remember she placed me in the car. She failed to secure the seat-belt. (Back then, car seats were not forced upon you) We headed down the road. We came to a light and she obviously stopped. According to her, I was squirming around, but she didn't know that inside of my squirming, I had disconnected the seat-belt. There was a hill going down straight ahead, however, she was turning left at the light. When the light turned green, she pushed the pedal down and took it hard. In this process, I had also pulled the car door handle, opening the door. When she made the hard turn, I went flying out and landed with a THUD! Then, I rolled onward and down the steep hill-road, all the way to the bottom.
You had to be tough in those days.
She slammed on the brakes and brought the car to a screeching halt. In her panic, she got out of the car and raced on foot to the top of the hill-road, screaming out, "Oh, my God! My baby!"
She ran down the hill with several other people who saw this at the light. When she got to the bottom, I was just laying there before pushing myself up. She stopped before me, looking down. "Oh, my God! Carroll, are you okay sweetie?"
I stared up at her and smiled. "I fall out of car, didn't I mommy?" I said.
She placed her hands over her face and started crying while laughing. She then picked me up and took me back to the car. Not a scratch on me despite the rough pavement of the road. She placed me back inside the car, made sure the seat-belt was fastened completely this time. She closed and locked the door. (Double checking it) And once she got back behind the wheel, she turned to me and asked, "You want to go get some ice cream before we go to Grandma's house?"
My smile widened and I said. "Me should fall out of car more times, huh, mommy?"
So what, I liked ice cream back then. So sue me. I got to thinking that me + falling out of car = ice cream. I always was pretty good in math. Of course, as I grew older I realized that me + beer + drunk girls = a real good time. (Almost as much fun as eating ice cream.) - Almost!
And while there were no immediate injuries on my small person, we failed to see the long term mental effects of brain damage that fall caused. After all, I did turn into a writer!