The boys have been playing with kids here in the village where we’re staying in Sweden, and have made a few friends, which is great. The bikes I bought for the boys off Sweden’s version of the Craig’s List at the beginning of the summer have provided the boys with a lot of freedom. They bike around the village with other boys and can go to the school playground whenever they want, without me having to bring them. It’s our first summer with this kind of independence for the boys. They are big boys now and I trust them. I know that they know to be careful on the bikes, that they know how to behave at the playground and towards other children, and that they are nice to others and look out for each other.
What I have no influence over however - as I’ve come to realize – is how other children act. William was at the school playground playing soccer with a bunch of kids, and when he was getting ready to leave, putting his helmet on to bike home, a boy came up to him and threw a handful of wet sand straight into William’s eyes. Twice. Somehow he managed to bike home, and I heard his cries as he locked his bike outside. When he came inside his eyes were totally covered in sand and he was rubbing them ferociously, screaming from the pain. Courtney and I tried washing the sand out as best as we could with water. It’s an amazing creation, the body, and how fantastic its defense system actually is. Your eyes will produce very large amounts of phlegm to lump together and expel foreign objects. It took us a while, but by bedtime William had a fairly clean, albeit very sore eye. It was red and extremely sore for a couple of days. You could see the cornea was scratched. We gave him Ibuprofen and kept a close eye on it (no pun intended, ha ha). Finally, three days later, William’s eye is much better.