Sunday scare

We had a pretty good run when it comes to the kids and accidents for the past two-plus years. No broken bones, no long hospital stays – a combination of luck and sturdy kids.

We are still squarely in the “very, very lucky column”, but Sunday was scary nonetheless. Zelda took a tumble out of her crib (completely my fault – the famous “looking away for one second” thing), and refused to crawl or bend over afterwards. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the sheer terror you feel when you see your kid hurt and in pain – realizing that it’s your fault. Of course, rationally speaking, I knew it wouldn’t be anything horrible: we would need to get her checked out, but the consequences of the fall would hopefully be minor. At the moment, however, I was a complete mess – in retrospect it feels like I was holding my breath until we finally got the x-rays showing that nothing was broken (about 5 hours after getting to the hospital).

While we were waiting, I could see all the other families coming into the emergency department: sometimes walking in, sometimes a child on a stretcher being rushed in by EMTs. I can’t even begin to imagine what the family of a child that is truly hurt has to go through: Zelda ended up a bit bruised, and I felt like the world was ending.

There’s a quote by Elizabeth Stone that is mentioned so often it has become cliché:

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Until yesterday I never realized what that truly meant.