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Facing Childhood and Adolescence in Iowa’s Cedar Valley: A Terrible Day

Childhood, Facing Community Belonging and Citizenship from University of Northern Iowa (Waterloo, Iowa)

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Illustrated by: Tanner & Maria

Written by: Kenyon


I was in the desert and we lived in a brick house.  It had only one house.  It was just my house.  Me and my big sister were the only two born, and I was five and she was ten.  We were playing with a big blue ball that was spiky.  They’re not really sharp, it was rubbery.  We were throwing it back and forth at first.  She threw it and I kicked.  Then she tossed it back one more time and I tried to kick it. I missed the ball and slipped on my head, and busted my head open (See, that’s what this bald spot is for. They said no more hair will grow there). My mom asked me what happened, and my big sister told her all that happened. My mom put a wet towel on the back of my head and she called the ambulance.  I had to fly in a helicopter to Iowa City. I had asthma at that time, too, and I couldn’t breathe, so they put a mask on me to breathe.  There were three men on the helicopter, and my mom and my sister were riding with me. I got on one of those things that they lay you down on and ride with you, a stretcher.      

At the hospital, they gave me a shot and took some blood.  I was nervous about the needles in my head.  I was scared because this was my first shot.  Then they glued my head back together.  They did not give me stitches. It felt like they were putting some goo on my head.  It was kind of coated and sticky.  Then I went home and went to sleep.

I woke up and it was the next morning.  I went outside and I was trying to practice kicking the ball.  My head kind of hurt the next day.  I had a headache.  


This story originally appeared in Facing Childhood and Adolescence in Iowa’s Cedar Valley, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by the University of Northern Iowa in Waterloo, Iowa.

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