Tuesday, September 25, 2012

reality shaken

Yesterday was our first near-disaster with Elden. When I say near-disaster I mean he could have been very seriously injured had things gone a centimeter or two differently.

We had him on the floor on his playmat in the living room. Everything was fine--he was smiling and chatting and Marsala was sitting in the front windowsill as she often does. Then it happened. She saw some sort of creature outside, lost her footing, and fell off the sill. When she fell, she knocked over the vacuum. The vacuum fell towards Elden with the handle grazing his head. It was a few centimeters from his soft spot. He cried, but we assume it was mostly out of fear because it was nothing compared to his pain cry when he got his first shot. I was a mess the rest of the night. Even though he was okay, my idealistic reality that I could protect him from anything came crashing down around me with that vacuum. This was just one of many scrapes, bruises, bumps, and injuries to come--especially if he takes after his accident-prone mama. This realization naturally opened the floodgates and my mind began to wander to the emotional bumps and bruises he's destined to get along the way. The first time he gets made fun of. The first time he gets rejected by someone he has a crush on. If he's like me, the first time he gets a B in school after working his butt off for that A (nerd alert). I can't protect him from everything--not even close--despite what will be my best effort. I just have to be there for him at the end of the day to scoop him up into my arms, cover him with kisses, and let him know how much we love him. And that kills me. Is this really all I can do for him? I can't follow him every single place he ever goes to be on the lookout for potential dangers? For mean children? For ill-intentioned adults? I can't preemptively meet every child that he may want to be friends with or date and tell them just what a wonderful little person he is to make sure they won't reject him, ignore him, or make fun of him?

The helplessness I felt. I saw that vacuum fall in slow motion. The words couldn't escape from my lips in time. Helpless is a big, empty place. As a parent, it's the last place I ever want to be again, but I know I am helpless to that. All I have are my words. I can warn Elden about what to look out for in life: physically dangerous objects and places, strangers, risky behavior. I can do my best to keep an eye out for him, especially when he's young, but beyond that I just need to let him go, grow, and trust that I've prepared him every way I possibly can to face the world and make wise decisions. That, and a whole lot of trusting God and praying every live long second of the day that Elden will be kept safe.


  1. Cutest kid ever! My little Noah has these zipper jammies too! (Thank God for Target and zipper jammies, this momma can not see straight enough to deal with all those buttons at 3:45am!)

  2. Elden is blessed to be in a loving home with two very special parents who want all the best for him. And yes, he will get his bumps and bruises - physical and mental. And you and Jon will be there to comfort him. There will be times when what you say or do doesn't seem to help. All you can do is try. The rest is up to him. And as you wrote, praying and trusting that God will watch over him is key.