In your life before kids, you only have to worry about yourself. You may care about what happens to the people around you, the people you love. But, it's not the same as when you have children. The worry and concern you will feel for them can be overwhelming, crippling even. Trust me, you can't avoid it, it's instinctual and all-encompassing.
As a naturally anxious person, I always feel like I am on high alert when it comes to my kids. So, when Doodle was flying around our cul-de-sac on her two-wheeler (which I might add she only figured out how to ride on Saturday), I was a broken record of phrases like, "Slow down!" and "Doodle, be careful!"
And she was careful. She navigated her way through the other six kids riding around with her. They were all having a blast running, riding and scootering (not sure that's a word) the afternoon away. But, suddenly, that all changed. I was looking the other way and hear my friend say, "They are going to run into each other." And just when I turned to look at what she was talking about, it happened.
Doodle was riding her bike at close to her top speed and Dilly was running in the opposite direction. Apparently, they both misjudged the situation or neither one of them was paying attention and they collided. Doodle fell of her bike and cut her knee, but Dilly was thrown back from the force. I heard the sound of the hit. I watched her fall back like it was slow motion and I was terrified.
She instantly started crying but didn't get up. When I saw that she was moving her hands and feet, I picked her up out of the street and laid her on our walkway. She just kept telling me that her whole body hurt and that she thought her legs were bleeding. It was heart-wrenching to watch. But, seeing Dilly lying there in tears was nothing compared to seeing the look (and tears) on Doodle's face as she watched this all unfold. She was so scared that she had hurt her sister. It was probably the most heartbreaking thing I had ever seen. (Note: Part of me really hopes Doodle remembers that feeling every time she gets behind the wheel of a car. If so, she'll be the safest driver out there.)
After a few minutes and a quick assessment, I decided to take Dilly to the ER. She was refusing to put pressure on her leg and her thigh was pretty swollen from the impact. On the drive there, a million questions ran through my head. "What if she hadn't been running with her helmet on? Would we have a serious head injury? What if her thigh hadn't taken the brunt of the hit? Could she have internal injuries? If something is broken, will Doodle forgive herself?"
|Dilly just before she was discharged ...|