It hit me, quite literally, yesterday how awesome a responsibility parenting is. Driving home on the highway from church with my two boys we had an accident. The details of the accident are inconsequential, though I will say someone,who chooses to stop dead on a busy highway and then drive away leaving the accident he or she caused behind should not be allowed to drive at all. No one was seriously hurt, though I am really sore and wishing I could spend the whole day in a hot bath, and there was no damage. The boys, nearly one and three, are fine. I took them to the doctor to be safe but there was no damage, except to my pride after the older boy went up to each person in the waiting room to explain ‘we bonked a blue van!’

The whole thing really shook me up, not because of what happened but what might have happened. My husband and I have sole responsibility for these kids. I know it’s a lifetime contract I signed when I got pregnant but when you actually take the time to think about the implications, it’s terrifying. A moment of inattention could have serious consequences for these little lives. The accident wasn’t my fault and I don’t think there’s anything I could have done to prevent it (except take a different route like the boy wanted) but it has left me second guessing myself.

I found myself in their room late last night just watching them. I know it’s not healthy to dwell on the accident, and I’m sure in a few days it will have passed, but perhaps it is good, sometimes, to stop and think about the fact that every thing we do as parents affects our children, that it all has the potential to create consequences for them that we can’t even imagine. Whether it’s a moment of inattention on the road, an unkind word or ‘not now dear, I’m too busy,’ our kids need more from us than we’re sometimes able to give. We can’t change that and we can’t give our whole lives over to them, but maybe a moment to remember how important our decision are to our kids is not a bad thing.

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One Response to

  1. Divawrites says:

    Oh honey,how scary for you. The “might have been” are nasty gremlins that will taunt you if you don’t banish them.My daughter broke her leg last year in my in-laws basement. My in-laws and my husband were present, sitting about 2 feet away. She was riding an ancient tricycle, jack-knifed the wheel and when the bike went over it twisted her leg and broke it in 2 places. My husband beat himself up for weeks. Finally I said-“were you there?” “yes”. “Did you mean for her to get hurt.” “No?” “Did you do everything you could do to help her when she did get hurt?” “Yeah.” “then let it go.”I know, easier said than done. A couple of months after the accident, and after she got her cast off (and when asked how her leg was when it was encased, she would answer “it hurts…and it’s pink.”) she was jumping on the bed and I had a total meltdown because I was afraid she was going to get hurt again. We do the best job we can. We won’t always be perfect, and we won’t always be right. But like we tell our kids…if at the end of the day we did the best that we could do, then we can’t ask for anything more.

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