Back in my pre-teen years (I was somewhere between 10 and 12 years old), I was cycling home from school in the Netherlands. Misjudging a maneuver to dodge a pole on a sidewalk, next to a speed bump. Swing left a bit onto the speed bump, swing right back onto the sidewalk. (Cycling next to a friend on the cycle path meant swinging right wasn’t an option.) Returning to the sidewalk a little bit too late meant the speed bump had already started dropping. I broadsided the edge with my wheel, and went down.
Somehow, I seem to have landed on one of my two front teeth: I can’t remember any other injuries anymore, but I broke the tooth. (It exposed a nerve, but didn’t damage it, so no pain from that as far as I can recall, but there was a piece of tooth that I could pick up and take home with me.) As soon as I got home, I made a phone call – because I felt the need to talk to one of my parents about it.
The interesting detail here: I didn’t phone my mother. Instead, I phoned my father — something I wouldn’t typically do during a work day. He’d be busy and all that? But, somehow I was scared of my mother? 🙂 Scared of her reaction, I suppose? A protective mother caring a lot about her children getting themselves hurt, versus a father that… what… exactly? I guess it’s not the kind of thing I can rationally puzzle out today, what precisely I was expecting from each of my parents’ responses. I particular because I wouldn’t have acted rationally, I would have acted emotionally?
To me, it’s a fond little memory of a fascinating parent-child dynamic, which I’m easily reminded of: what you see of one of my two front teeth these days, was created by a “tooth artist” many years after this accident.