Kids are resilient little things. They fall and can get back up. They can be spoken to badly and move on. They can forgive, they can forget and they can love unconditionally. Until they are taught otherwise. They are born pure, naive and innocent. They see the best in situations and they are here to teach us what we never learnt.
Adults, we are programmed differently. Somewhere along our path, things can change. When we are old enough, we can make choices and they can be the right ones – or the wrong ones. My theory is that it's all based on mindset, power and self belief. If your confidence is knocked out of you at a young age, if your trust is broken, if something happens then your path alters.
My darling beautiful girl had a fall on Wednesday night. My friends and family, they told me it was a freak accident. It will happen to all of us with kids at some point. Even the doctors did. They are right! And I count my lucky starts that she wasn't hurt badly. She was brave. So brave. There was so much blood, her clothes were soaked through and no matter what I did to try and stop it, it didn't stop. It was her first cut so I did try and rationalise with my thoughts because quite frankly I'm a neurotic mother – the type that never let's go of her hand in a playground.
I had a friends voice in my head telling me to wet towels with cold water (her daughter went through something similar the week prior) and rush her to the hospital. And I did. I took no keys, no shoes, no money – can you tell I was being totally irrational? I'm lucky enough to live in a portered block and I told them to get my husband to come to the hospital the minute he came home as my phone wouldn't connect to his.
My little girl, she stopped crying very quickly as she went into shock. The cab journey took longer than expected (I am a two minute drive away) so I found myself running the last 5 seconds, which felt like an eternity, into the hospital. The blood was dripping off the towels and we were ushered straight through.
It's a bad cut they said, with small damage into the muscle. In an awkward position and they lay her down to clean it up and deal with it. She was calm, still and scared. The dressings have to be changed daily and she can't run, jump or wet her head for 5 days. The duration of years for a child. That night she lay with me and I woke her every few hours. “Mummy, you're so brave. She said. “Mummy, watch me when I'm sleeping.” She said. And the following morning she starting milking her war wound for all it was worth.
Fast forward to me – you may think I'm being melodramatic (and realistically, I am. Accidents happen and it could have been SO much worse) but I'm traumatised. Every time I shut my eyes I have flash backs. I can't sleep and I can't let go of my baby. I can't let her out of my sight. It's kind of ridiculous right?!
I've worked myself up so much that my fever is super high and I'm panicked that the sepsis I had a year ago is going to return (apparently trauma can do that) and I'm getting the symptoms.
But something triggered when I had a 90 minute bath tonight – my husbands orders to have some me time. I got the courage to write this and received some sort of epiphany. My daughter, she's strong, brave, happy and positive. We made her that way and I have to carry on driving her into the right direction. I can't let my mind drive me crazy when things happen. I have to make the most of the situation and I have to learn from lessons and from her. To be strong. After all, there's going to be another time when she needs me to be stronger.
This article, its anonymous but you may know who I am. My friends do and if you have guessed, then I ask you to please respect my privacy. I'm not writing this for sympathy or attention and you may not like me. That's totally fine. But my advice to you is this. Be strong for your children, don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. We have only got one chance and “it's ok if you fall sometimes, just as long as you get back up.”