When one of us scraped a knee or cut a finger we would run to our doctor father. He would take us in the crook of his arm and breathe in and out as he carefully examined the hurt. His calm spreading to us.
“Let’s clean that up.”
Matter-of-fact he would take us to the bathroom with three different types of lights, bright as an operating theater. He would tell us the purpose of washing out a cut. Explain the nature of the wound, puncture, abrasion, laceration….
“Words matter. You should know how to describe what you have.”
Then he would scrub his hands, nail brush, soap, and water.
“Keep yourself clean or you can infect others.”
He would unscrew the top of the anti-bacterial cream and caution,
“Never touch the mouth of the tube with your finger, you could put germs on the tube and spread them to the next person.”
And his thrift would be thrown to the wind as he plucked a Q-Tip out of its box, smeared a bit of cream on the cotton head, and gently swabbed the open area. His deft fingers, cracked from his scrubbing, peeled back the crisp paper of the Band-Aid, and the puncture, abrasion, or laceration would be covered, and a forehead would be kissed.
“Run along, and play.” Was his, “I love you, be careful.”