Rite of Passage (with Gory Picture)

This summer on a visit to the farm, we went to my in-laws small-town church. And I mean small.

In celebration of Father’s Day, they passed out pocket knives to the father and the kids, and basically every boy over the age of 0.

I gave my hubby a knowing look that meant OUR SON IS TOO  YOUNG FOR A POCKET KNIFE. He and his dad laughed and told me that the dull little knife couldn’t harm a fly.

[insert foreshadowing]

Once we got home, we (and I mean that loosely) let our son keep the little knife in his treasure box in his room. He occasionally asked permission to whittle soap and chunks of wood with his Dad.

Fast forward to two weeks ago: my son rediscovered his knife and woke with a healthy dose of testosterone and asked me if he could use his knife outside to carve on a bar of soap. I told him no, but to ask his dad when he got home from work. Now, my son is not a defiant kid, but he’s persistent and human (a lot like his mom). He waited awhile and caught me when I was busy and said, “I’m going to go poke at the tree” or something like that.

He and his little sister played while I was inside. I’ll never forget the ear-piercing scream from the backyard.

I ran to the door and threw it open to find my son, with sister following, holding out his hands, covered in blood.

Pocket knife long forgotten, I had no idea why he was bleeding and normally queasy at the site of blood, adrenaline kicked in. I grabbed the hand towel on the counter and applied pressure, barking out orders to my girls. All the while, my son is HYSTERICAL, screaming things like “Am I going to die? It’s hurts!!!! I’m so scared!”

It wasn’t until the girls were safely at my neighbor’s and we were on our way to the hospital that I asked him what happened. “I don’t want to tell you,” he sobbed.

I looked at the hand towel, not knowing how badly he was cut, soaked with my son’s blood and swallowed back fear and tears and said, “I just need to know, so I can help you. I’m pretty sure if it’s your fault, you’ve already gotten your punishment.”

He told me the whole story of using the dull little pocket knife to chip away at the tree bark when the knife closed in on his index finger. “I don’t think there are such things as dull knives,” he hiccuped. I didn’t need to do much lecturing. Some lessons are learned the hard way.

We got to the hospital and my hubby met me from work. While the four pain shots were numbing my son’s finger in preparation for the six stitches he would get, the doctor and my hubby swapped knife and stitches stories.

It was hilarious.

Only it wasn’t because my son was bleeding all over the table.

I looked at the nurse and I said, “How many stitches have you had from playing with knives?”

“None,” she smiled.

“Me either. Must be some rite of passage.”

The good doctor and my hubby agreed.

On the way home, my husband called his father “Dad, remember that dull pocket knife from this summer……?”

My little boy only wanted to say one thing to his Grandpa when the phone was handed to him,

“Papa? I’m a man now.”

My father -in-law responded, “Guess what I got you for Christmas?”


  1. 1


    Bless his heart! Seems they have to learn the hard way. Rite of Passage indeed. My husband bought our oldest son a BB gun when he was three. THREE! He’s had knives since he was about 9 or 10, but thankfully, has never cut himself with one. It’s just broken bones for him. My youngest son is eight and I keep my ear open for requests for that collection of knives his daddy has started for him. Help me.

    Hope your son’s finger is healing nicely.

  2. 3


    I had to read the story before I could figure out what that picture was! It doesn’t even look like a finger! I’m impressed with how you handled it, I would have been freaking out!

  3. 4

    Karen says

    As the mother of 3 boys, I can tell you that that scar will be worn as a badge and the story retold into adulthood….and it probably won’t be your last trip tot he ER with him! :-) Enjoy the ride…….

  4. 5


    O my goodness!!! That is a super cute story!

    I have 2 boys and we live near Chicago but still in the country. I have always allowed my boys to have knives. Now, my oldest could use his because he’s just the responsible kind of kid but our youngest… that’s a different story!

    They both started off with a teeny tiny pocket “knife” about an inch long. It was so cute!

    Blessings to you little guy who is now a “man”!!!! LOL



      • 6.1.1


        Oh my gosh. I tell my kids and tell my kids not to play with those things. I knicked my finger with one and it bled and bled and bled. I have a locking one now, but it’s only a matter of time until they figure that out!

  5. 8

    Mary Henaghan says

    My husband did the same thing to his finger a couple months ago. I’m pretty sure he’s experience this “rite of passage” more than once…

  6. 9


    As a mother to 6 boys, I can tell you that this is just the beginning! Something about the male species LOVES to show off their injuries/scars, it’s just crazy. I could tell you a hundred stories of drama around here, that’s for sure. That’s the fun of having boys! I love it.

  7. 10


    that’s hilarious but I’m glad it wasn’t worse. Does he need to go pee on the tree now too? I don’t have boys.. only girls.. I’m not sure of the manhood progression

  8. 11

    Tessa Dixon says

    I keep trying to tell my husband that if he wants to get our son (who is almost 2) a pocket knife we will keep it in a box on a shelf for quite a few years before my son ever touches it.. I do not know how long that will last but I am not excited about the boys right of passage that my son will go through..

  9. 12


    Let me assure you that they continue to be proud of these ‘rites if passage’ when they are 28 yrs old!
    They’ll always be your babies 😉 glad it wasn’t worse…for mom and son 😉

  10. 13


    Hee hee. I loved this. My son is 8 and has a knife from Boy Scouts. He is only allowed to use it under supervision… ..BUT I can totally see this happening to us. It seems like they know when to tell us what they are doing, like when they know we are totally distracted. LOL.

    I can’t wait to see what your FIL got him for Christmas. :-)

    (This is a great story, by the way!)

  11. 14


    Oh, I am trembling with fear as to what the Christmas present is! I have one brother who is not prone to scars and one who got them every two years from the time he was two trying to do somersaults down concrete stairs. Luckily, my son (4) will even hand over the butter knife from the utensil bundle at IHOP. My daughter, however, got her first five stiches when she was two – while under the watchful eyes of my scarred brother! Learned my lesson real quick!

  12. 15

    Monica says

    It’s a man thing! I have asked my husband on numerous occasions to not allow our 5 year old to have knives. Hubby let one of his parents give our 5 year old a knife with a 3 inch blade. I was angry. Told the child that his dad had to keep the knife and he could only use it if supervised by daddy. Daddy doesn’t always supervise well. I found the knife with open blade on the porch by our front door. I took the knife and hid it from Daddy and child. It’s mine until he’s 18!

    • 15.1


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  13. 17


    Poor Thing! I am glad he is all right.
    Boys? Really what are you going to do.
    My oldest will be 15 next month and is still not allowed a knife because of an incident when he was five.
    Soldier on!

  14. 18

    Anita says

    Kristen – you need to beat that Granddad to the punch and get a set of drums just for at Grandad’s house….
    does that seem just a little meanish? …ooops

  15. 20

    Kristie says

    Wow. You handled that well. I can’t believe how bad his little finger looks!! This whole scenario makes me think of John Eldridge’s book “Wild at Heart”

  16. 21


    I cried as I read this because I think hearing your “voice” as I read brought back so many memories of raising my boys. They sure can do things in a dangerous way at times. I hope it’s okay I liked what you wrote and how you said it so much that I posted it on my FB page. I know my friends will love it.

  17. 22


    As a mom of three boys, I can totally relate to this one! Our house is so full of testosterone, I can only imagine what is in our future… We’ve only had stitches once so far and one dislocated elbow. My oldest is 7, and he wants a pocketknife BAD. I told him he can’t have one until he stops holding kitchen knives in an “attack” position every time he gets a chance to hold one!

    Thanks for sharing this story! I posted it on my blog fb page.

  18. 23


    This is too funny! I was just getting ready to offer my next blog post concerning my husband, a pocket knife, a christmas tree, a zip tie, and a 4 1/2 hour trip to the ER. I just happened to check in on your blog beforehand. My hubby is 29 and holding and suffered an inch-deep puncture wound to the index finger. Right behind the fingernail! OUCH! Boys and their toys!

  19. 24


    Oh my! It’s even worse than I imagined from the Twitter posts! Eeek!

    What would you do with a $75 gift card?  I have a  giveaway on my blog right now for just that!  

    Come on over and enter!  

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