Friday, July 27, 2012

Protecting my babies from the world

I don't usually sit down and write hard core feelings on this blog.  Oh well, sometimes I don't always post what I'm thinking or wish I could write because I simply lack the time.  But there has been something on my mind recently.

I don't often watch the news.  I'll pull up a news website on the computer every few days and read a few stories, but I don't like to do it because I don't enjoy it.  Growing up, my mother watched the 10:00 news every night.  I wish I'd remember to do this, it's helpful for knowing the weather and what is going on politically with our country.  I remember riding the bus home from school one day and I was talking to my friend about my mother watching the news every night.  She mentioned that her mother doesn't do that.  This baffled me.  Isn't it part of our parent's job to watch and discuss news?  My friend said that her mother couldn't watch the news because it made her depressed, it made her cry.  "Oh" was all I could say.  It never occurred to me that there was so much cruelty in the world, and that news stations focused so much airing time on what was horrible, not so much of what was good.

Now that I've grown and I'm a mother of my own two babies, I sort of feel the urge that I should be watching the news and know what's going on.  I just wish that there was a station that focused on all the good going on.  When I pull up a news website I scroll down the list of stories and skip most of them. 
 The ones I force myself to read?  The ones that I could learn from.  The sad ones that maybe I could glean enough information from to protect my own children.  Families that speak out about their own tragedies to hopefully keep another family from making the same horrible mistake.  
What can I do to keep my children from being kidnapped?  What can I do to help them not to get into sticky situations with drugs and gangs?

Three stories come to mind as I write this.
A mother who lost her baby boy because he drowned in a top loading washing machine.  The story is so innocent.  She and her toddler liked doing the laundry together.  Her son enjoyed being able to throw the clothes into the machine while he stood on a stool by her side.  I'll bet she never realized the point where he was tall enough to climb up and fall in there, lodging himself in the water.  She only thought to look in there when she'd already searched the house and could not find him anywhere.
I didn't know this could happen.  Now I do.

Another heartbreaking mother lost her son (one of twins) when she left him in the car all day.  You think, "How could a mother forget her baby in a car?"  It's simple.  Her daily routine was to drop her twins off at the daycare before running to work each day.  This particular day one of them was sick so he stayed home with daddy.  Her routine was thrown off, she simply forgot once she was in the car to run to the daycare, instead she went on to work.  It was hot that day.
This one gives me nightmares.  Not only the possibility of your child literally cooking or freezing to death in a car being your fault, but also the added stress of being brought to court and possibly having your other children taken away from you.

The last story chills me.
A mother spoke out about the dangers of children falling out of windows.  Did you know that screens aren't meant to keep your children in?  They aren't strong enough.  They are to keep bugs out.  I suppose I knew this, but I'd never really thought of it before.  This lady's toddler was leaning on the ceiling to floor window screen.  She'd warned him against this before, but he didn't understand the consequences.  She said she heard his scream and had to run outside to find him on the sidewalk a story below the window.  She said the last thing he did before he passed away was smile at her.  This story brings tears to my eyes.

The other day I was blow drying my hair.  I usually buckle my youngest into a highchair and let him watch a cartoon while I shower because I don't trust him to wander the house alone.  This day my routine was a little skewed and I let him play in the family room after I got out of the shower.  I mean it's not like the door to the bathroom was closed, I could sort of hear him playing in there.  I'm pretty good at sensing where my children are and what they are doing.  I think every mother is.  Well, the blow dryer was pretty loud, and I this time I didn't notice that he'd left the family room and had climbed the stairs.  I turned off the blow drier and heard silence.  I figured he'd gone upstairs but thought it was okay because I had shut all the doors up there and eventually he'd make his way back down.  I went on blow drying my hair, and then I stopped.  Suddenly I felt something was wrong.  I made my way upstairs and was surprised to find that my bedroom door was open, upon entering I found that my bathroom door was open too (I'm a little obsessed about keeping bathrooms closed).  Until now my son has never been able to open doors on his own.  I looked into the bathroom and was terrified to find my son climbing onto the top tank of the toilet.  The one right underneath the highest and smallest window in the house.  The one I thought was safe because it was in the most innocent place and I had therefore left it open to air out the shower steam.  My son was lifting himself onto the tank, and at that moment I had no doubt that he would have kept climbing.
Over the moments that followed so many emotions and images flooded my mind.  What if he had kept climbing?  What if he had leaned on that screen to look out the window.  He knew the neighbors had a truck and that he'd be able to see it from that window as I'd shown him before.

What if I'd not listened to that warning feeling and continued to blow dry my hair?
What if the last memories I had of my son was hearing his cry as he flew past the bathroom window I was drying my hair in and then finding him broken and lost on the ground outside?

I'm sorry that imagery is horrible for me to write out.  But these thoughts flooded my mind.
I cried.  I bawled.  I held my son very very tight.
I knelt down and thanked the Lord for watching out for my baby, as He's done so many times before.

I am so thankful for those women who did lose their children, and then told the world.  I am so thankful that I don't have to live through it all and make every mistake on my own so that I can learn how to protect my babies.  And I hope I never have to go through a tragedy such as that.

Most of all I am grateful to the Lord.  For His infinite power and wisdom and love.  I know that whatever happens, He will always be watching out for me and the ones I love.


  1. Oh my heart. We could so swap stories on this kind of "what if" thing. I'm so sorry for your terror and so glad that things panned out. And PS, I LOVED your tea party, SO cute.

  2. My friend actually sent me a link to a news website that only published good news. My friend is a bit of a flake. Knowledge is power. Buddhism says "All life is sorrowful". I studied Buddhism for 2 days straight once, and then I saw something shiny. I think I started in on the Sihks about then. Anyway, tell me if you've done this: Think of every possible horrible thing that could possibly happen and fret over it. Then, when none of those things happen, you discover you've got this super Mommy power to Protect-through-worry. I remember being so fearful during the first 4 months of pregnancy. When this one "took", I was so happy for about 2 days. Then of course I worried about other stuff. Finally, she was born! Perfectly healthy! I was so glad that all of that worrying was over with. Sigh. Anyway, I've been using my super Mommy power for 6 years now. The child has NO FEAR! And I have many grey hairs. Ciao.



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