Day to day, as a parent, you hold the belief that you’re doing everything you can to keep your kids free from harm. Sure, there will be cuts and scrapes but for the most part, things hold themselves together fine. But when they aren’t fine and a kid is hurt on your watch, something happens inside that is more horrible than you could ever imagine.
This morning, Dakota was in her little highchair, the kind that attaches to a regular chair, and as she reached for something Isaac had, one of the supporting legs pieces buckled and the whole thing tipped over. She was on the ground, pinned under her chair, and blood was EVERYWHERE. I had literally just stepped out of view when it happened and I rushed back to right her and saw the immense amount of blood. Naturally, I panicked.
I tend to shriek in this horrible high-pitched way when things like this occur and I hate it about myself. Ash looked me straight in the eye and sternly told me to calm down. But we both thought we saw the same thing: a mangled tongue, split from biting down on it. We evaluated the situation quickly and he started buckling her into the car and I rounded up the boys and followed. I was hysterical on the very short drive to the ER. What if she needed surgery? Oh My God, she’s going to be a mute! We pulled into the ER and started checking in and she was… quiet. I figured shocked or just overwhelmed. I held her in my lap as the desk guy evaluated her but he also looked in her mouth, telling us that no, it was not split. In fact, it was just fine. It was the inside of her lip she bit.
I had to write this out because ever since then, my stomach has been in knots and I’ve been on the verge of tears every time I think about it. This child has, in her 2o months, proven that she is going to be the one to give me heart palpitations. She frequently jumps off of things or climbs on stuff with little regard for her own safety. This was clearly an accident but what if…? I had to write this to get past it. Something happens inside a parent’s body when their child seems to be in grave danger; it’s like nothing I have ever felt before. I tense up, hold stress in areas of my body, and once the danger passes, my body feels like it’s been through a gauntlet. My calves ache and my stomach is churning. I still imagine her there, helpless and injured. It’s those moments that show you how vulnerable kids can be. It’s no wonder some parents want to keep their kids in a bubble; it’s freaking scary. But I keep telling myself that she’s ok; she was happily playing by the time we got home.
Months from now, we’ll look back and remember this but it won’t strike the same chord. It will, however, serve as a reminder to be vigilant; things can happen in the blink of an eye. And these little ones are so very precious.