Wednesday, February 26, 2014

head-on collision ...

Being a parent has to be one of the scariest things you can do.

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 ...
After an hour or two, it was clear that Dilly was just fine and that she escaped with just a few cuts and bruises. But, I think I was the one who was really suffering. I just couldn't shake the "what ifs" and thought that even with best intentions, we can't protect them all the time. Things are going to happen. They are going to do things when we aren't around and even if we are, there are no guarantees. We just have to roll with the punches and be there to pick up the pieces.

8 comments:

Kortni said...

I so know how you feel. Jonah at age 3 fell backwards off a railing and landed on a rock. The fall was about 5 feet and the sight of his head split open was beyond words. I wasn't there to witness the fall and I think that was a good thing. I have never been so nervous and surprisingly calm at the same time. Being a mother brings emotions out in us that are hard to deal with sometimes. Thank goodness they are resilient and we are smart enough to try to keep them as safe as we can. Glad she is okay!!!!

Tara Newman said...

Tonia - so scary! Glad to hear both girls (and Mom) survived. I hear ya on the anxiety! I don't know what happens to a femaile's brain chemistry when she has children but it is legit.

fancy nancy said...

Oh my word Tonia! My heart was pounding reading this! As much as I would LOVE to put my girls in a bubble and keep them there I can't! It is so scary to think of the what ifs but I'm glad everyone is ok and on the mend!

Murph said...

So glad that Doodle is doing well. I have 4 kids... (well, one is in college and living half a country away from us, but she'll always be 6 years old to me) and I've always done the "what if" thing. You will always worry about them, but I learned a long time ago, that I can't protect them all the time. They have to experience live, even if that means they sometimes get hurt. It's a hard one to learn as a parent... I'm still learning... ;)

ltlindian said...

Yes, you can't protect your kids from everything. It is a scary world out there. A kid just died yesterday in our area from complications from having his wisdom teeth removed. Scary indeed.

Jill said...

I so hear you! I have so much anxiety with my kids getting hurt. I see dangers all around them. So sorry you had to see it...sometime seeing it is so much worse. So happy they are ok! Glad kids are so resilient! Wish my mind was. Oh parenting...nothing like it.

ajh said...

Glad she's okay. How scary!

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

i'm so glad she is ok! i can really relate to all of the feelings you have and the "what ifs" you went through in your head. my 7 year old son has a lot of life threatening food allergies and i struggle with this kind of thing a lot with him, on top of all the regular worries! i think that is just part of motherhood ... you are an amazing mama!!!