Mommy is a headbanger

The sun is finally out again, and that means it’s head injury season for moms.

One would think that this means it’s time to tend the young and wounded,
as kids fall off play structures and jump off small garages.

But no.

At least in my case, it’s time to start smacking my own head into metal
play structures once again.

Hooray! Seasonal affective disorder is dead. Long live the contusion.

I kicked off the season this year with a loud bang to the spot where a
headband would go, were I Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1993, or perhaps myself in
college. This time, as I followed my young charge about, I even
presaged the bump, doing some mental arithmetic — apparently wildly
inaccurate — about the height of the metal arc vs. the height of the
woman; I proceeded to head straight for it like a bird to an I.M. Pei

My new parent-pickups/new best friends at the playground? Forget it — they
didn’t even offer their names this time. Would you extend yourself
to a person who’s apparently too uninformed to avoid walking into low overhangs? Me neither.

So, why me? How did I become the unfortunate sparrow in a house of mirrors? I’m not sure, though I do clearly recall three significant
bumps last summer, one of which prompted a call to my husband to let
him know I was out driving a very large piece of metal, and
dizzy, and to send a search team for the boys if we didn’t surface
again by 6 p.m.

I’m a pretty smart person, or at least I was before I started smashing
my skull in at parks, so I think I’d like to blame my height on this
one. I’m roughly 5 foot 8, and perhaps that is the builders’ chosen
height limit for someone daffy enough to go chasing their kids under slides
and stuff. Or maybe this is a conspiracy of short people. Well, shorter
people, since according to my calculations lately, I am no longer even
really tall for a woman, but only on the tall side for a medium-height woman.

Which leaves me in fear for the younger generation, who have dwarfed me in
the last decade. There are some young Amazons out there now, many
doubtless as clumsy as me, and as they reproduce and head to the parks, boy, will those ERs be crowded. –Jillian O’Connor