Five-year-old Jonathan perched on the arm of the couch next to my chair, chatting to me about his game. Then he gleefully pitched himself backwards onto the couch cushions. A common occurrence.
We were all shocked to hear the jarring sound of breaking glass. Mom gasped audibly, Dad came running, seven-year-old James put his hands on the sides of his head, and Jonathan lay on the couch, dazed.
Beneath Jonathan's head, one of my dinner plates, having been set carefully in the center of the middle couch cushion after James partook of his noon meal, had breathed its last and shattered into a million pieces.
Call me crazy, but I woulda thought the cusions mighta taken some of the impact. Or the child's head. But no. Jonathan had not a single scratch anywhere. He just... broke the plate... with his skull. His very hard, very thick, very large, very inherited skull.
It didn't even hurt, he reported.
Mom grabbed the kid, and Dad grabbed the vacuum. Holding Jonathan's arms away from his head so he wouldn't brush a trail of glass shards all the way to the bathroom, I carefully lifted his crystallized t-shirt over his baby-soft hair and deposited him in the bathtub.
Alas, Jeff had already begun to clean up the plate before I got a chance to snap a blog shot.
A clean, dry Jonathan returned to the living room and panicked, horrified, as he watched Dad clean the couch, truly convinced his new legos, nearby on the coffee table, were about to disappear forever, sucked into the vortex known as Death by Vacuum.
It took several minutes to calm him down. And then he let me rock him, wrapped in his blankie, for more minutes than he'd care to admit, but not quite enough minutes to satisfy his mama's nurturing arms.
And even after the vacuum cleaner had screamed its last, Jonathan still ventured bravely near it to gather up his toys and usher them to safety. Just in case.
My soul smiled at my little man. Hard head? Yes. It protects his soft heart.