|Eleanor with her Mexican Easter egg.|
Later, we all kept saying how it was like a cartoon, Frances’s little body lifted straight up in the air—at least a foot—and then down, on her back. It was an awful thing to witness.
I ran from my spot in front of the goal to where my eight-year-old sprite lay sprawled on the grass. Windy was already at her side and I glanced across the field to note whether Jonathan, the on-site paramedic, saw the hit and was responding.
An accident like this was clear to foresee, but the grown-ups and kids of all ages had been playing together, every Wednesday, for a dozen weeks without incident. The good part of this mixed play was that we all had more fun, kids and adults alike. We adults, rowdy amongst ourselves, were always mindful of the smaller players, deferring to them when they had the ball and encouraging their play. Risk aside, it was hard to imagine a more idyllic soccer environment.
Windy felt as badly as anyone, she’d kicked the ball hard, aiming it all the way down the long field. It hit Frances instead, about ten feet away.
|Right about the same time as Frances's|
misfortune, Eleanor launched herself
off a playground climbing wall, only
to strike her tailbone halfway down. Here
she is in the hospital--all good though.
“What hurts Munchkin?”
“My eye, all around.”
“How old are you?”
“Who’s the president?”
Frances was soon up and standing, wanting to play and feeling sorry to be sidelined for the rest of the game. Even though she woke the next morning without the black eye we promised her would be there, we sidelined her for the rest of the week.
“The playground isn’t a good idea, you gotta take care not to hit your head again, especially not so soon after Momma nailed you with that soccer ball.”
Two days later, shopping at the segundos (thrift stores) on the outskirts of La Paz, Eleanor ran calling to find us.
“Frances is hurt! I swung the tennis racket and it accidentally hit her!”
We left quickly, grabbing some ice from the Tecate store just 200 yards away. The knot on Frances’s head was one for the ages, also cartoon like. The next morning she had the shiner we’d promised her days earlier.
|It was really black and blue underneath.|
|This is where we play soccer, note Windy in the|
rust-colored shirt to the right, Frances in the pink
shirt to the right.
|Eleanor heading in to her art class back in La Paz.|
(courtesy m/v Anbar)