Left-handed oven mitts

Growing up, nonsensical comments were not encouraged. My parents were patient to a fault and it wasn’t them who critiqued and threw out the put-downs: it was older siblings and elder cousins who did that.  Opinions, if offered, better be well thought out, researched and intelligent. Or else.

Yes, I learned, early on, that open ended questions, ponderings and musings were best kept to myself.  Especially if they were on the silly or under-developed side.

Sharing thoughts openly was a sure way to get myself teased by the more worldly cousins and siblings.  Teased and labeled and branded as one thing:  s-t-u-p-i-d.

So it was with delight that I relate the exchange that took place in our kitchen  Monday night.

Back story: Youngest boy is taking college classes and working part-time at a local deli. He’s had his ups and he’s had his downs but, for the most part, he’s getting into the job and the classes and handling it all of it quite well.

So, in the midst of our crazy Saturday, came a phone call.  From him. When he should be at work.  Instantly, I went into my calm & focused Mother mode.

“Hi there. What’s that?  Why do you need that information? What do you mean you’ve had an accident?” said me.

In the smallest non-calm voice possible.

I could feel the color leave my face me as he told his Readers-Digest version.  Customers in a hurry.  Many orders. Working the slicer.  Thumb.  A lot of blood. Emergency room.

Oh geez, I thought. Visions of the worst overcame me.

But, he bounded in later that evening, with his Looney-tunes sized thumb, wrapped in layers of gauze and bandages, carrying his pain meds … and a sandwich.  Hey, the kid’s gotta eat;  we just had to smile.

As much as he tried to put us at ease, I’m not kidding when I say that thing  looks like a Halloween prop.  And changing the bandages has been daunting. Not because of the gore, but because of the pain.  His pain. That old parental adage rings true, “when they hurt, we hurt.”

Still, he’s managing and handling things in his matter-of-fact way and, somewhere in there, we have learned to let him.   Yes there’s a lot of discomfort, no there was nothing to stitch, yes there’s gonna be a doozy of a scar and no, he can’t work anytime soon.

So it is with a smile that I tell you this story and it goes as follows:

“Hey Mom, do we have any left-handed oven mitts?”

“Um .. no, flip it over.” 

“Huh, wouldja look at that!”


And with that laughter came something even better:  Relief.

Relief that he’s gonna be OK.

Relief because it could have been sooo much worse.

Relief that the only family he knows is one where it’s perfectly normal to ask about left-handed oven mitts.

The kid at 3; he's always been silly. Turns 20 next month

The kid at 3;  turns 20 next month.  Still silly.

How about you?  Can you relate?  Did your family encourage or squelch self-expression?

Categories: Attitude, Family, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Left-handed oven mitts

  1. Oh, my, so glad your son is going to be okay. Sounds scary. I had an accident of my own over this past weekend–one that scared the heck out of me. You may remember that I’m accident prone. I’m fine. Gonna save the story for a blog post.

    Do they make left-handed mitts? If not, they should.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • I saw that you’d had a mishap on your recent post but I was so taken with all the scenery and joyful photographs that I neglected to comment on that – I hope you are feeling better, those were some humdinger bruises!

      You know, I’m thinking that there probably are left-handed oven mitts sold in a novelty shop somewhere … 🙂


  2. So glad it wasn’t worse. Even a paper cut on a finger hurts for too long. Shudder. Thank you for the smile. Mothers are soooo smart.
    This comes to mind. “Hey, the document is upside down on the screen.”
    “Print it and turn it around.”
    Oh, goodness gracious. Good job, MJ.

  3. You asked about our family of origins…Sounds like mine was a lot like yours. To this day, you will be eaten alive if you say something “stupid” Younger sister’s family especially is VERY sarcastic both with her kids and with me her older brother. Teasing makes you tough. (she thinks) I’m sporting some m stitches myself right now. If my sister heard how it happened, I’m sure there would be some eye rolls and snarky comments. Chicks dig scars..right? 😉

    • Yep, there were times they were great but usually .. not. There was an awful lot of teasing till I cried, poking till I gasped, and pounding till I cried uncle. It’s interesting that, when I visit home, sometimes some of those old bullying behaviors come up .. in conversations, mostly.

      I’m hoping your wound is healing well and that you aren’t in too much pain; bests, MJ

  4. Happy ending to a scary episode. Wish I remembered my childhood enough to know the answer…my children always had a voice, I think. They may remember it differently.

  5. Oh, I know this was SO scary! Glad it wasn’t any worse, though.
    When I became an adult, I realized that I always, always knew that I could ask my mom anything, or tell her anything, without her laughing at me, belittling me or making me feel “dumb”. And that’s how I’ve always strived to be with Marshall – someone he can always talk to – about anything.
    It’s a good feeling, isn’t it??

    • Very glad, thank you.

      And I agree, having been able to talk with my parents and get along with them well as adults, I always wanted that with my kids. I don’t have that easy rapport with all of my siblings but I try. Our boys banter back and forth but, for the most part, they get along. They always know I am here for them!! MJ

  6. Oh, your poor boy! I don’t care how old they get. They’ll always be our babies and we’ll always worry and hurt when they hurt. I’m glad he’s going to be okay.

    Self expression? In our family, it was absolutely not encouraged!

  7. Oh…your boy and I are cut from the same cloth, LOL. I sliced my wrist open with a fresh razor blade while cutting open a case of Charmin toilet paper. You wanna talk about blood!! Even the ER receptionist was appalled!! I usually ding up part of me each year….I suppose that either means that I’m stupid or working hard….you’re call. 🙂

    Looney Tunes sized thumb. Great description. I should be so lucky to be a gauze salesperson to a hospital!

    • Eek — bet the Charmin TP was a mess! It is easy to do when you’re busy going/doing/setting up, etc. 🙂

      Looney Tunes was it — big and ridiculous looking but they worked – it’s healing … MJ

  8. I’m glad he’s doing all right with his huge thumb that is probably always in the way. My family is known for the warped sense of humor, we are who we are.

  9. Yikes. This past spring, my not so little Little Man sliced his ear. He ripped a bit of it and if it hadn’t been a Sunday, I would have taken him to see a doctor. Boy did it bleed. He kept saying over and over, “No stitches! No stitches!” And yet, when it ripped he didn’t even feel it. It was only when he realized he was bleeding that his panic set in. So, no, he didn’t get stitches and wasn’t seen by a doctor. He has a little bump where things didn’t line up exactly right; and it can be a source of story for him as he grows up. And he can even make up all sorts of lies about it.

    Love the left-handed oven mitt. Actually, when I was at maritime college, one of the things the engineers always did to the freshmen, was send them after a left-handed screwdriver and a bucket of steam.

    • glad Little Man’s ear healed up, OK. I hear you — sometimes the bleeding part is worse than the cut. It was in this instance — he didn’t feel it b/c the blade was so sharp – at first.

      Loved the “left handed screwdriver/bucket of steam” story – ha!!


  10. We all picked up my father’s sense of humor, so I learned early to keep my thoughts to myself. The teasing still goes on today between my siblings…50+ years later.
    And we had a similar experience with SonNo1…at age 18 getting his foot caught in the conveyor belt of the car wash where he worked. Without the quick thinking of his co-worker, he would be an amputee. Yikes…

    • Eek! That’s quite a story about your boy — scary stuff.

      The teasing .. ugh … I don’t care for it and I find myself shutting down when that happens. MJ

  11. Hey, I’m so glad this story has a happy ending…as others said, scary, so scary! It is hard to be on the end of those phone calls, isn’t it? I’ve had a couple of those…car accidents and a motorcycle wreck. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart, for sure! ~ Sheila

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