"It was really awful."
"I almost lost it."
These are my typical responses when asked about the events of a few days ago. It was really hot this week, and the local pool was not yet open for the summer. A friend of mine invited my kids and I over for the morning and offered to let the kids play with all of their backyard water toys, including a water table, pool, and sprinkler. The kids were so excited and were playing really well. What an ideal morning - the kids were using their imaginations, experimenting with water, working on social skills with friends! My friend and I were getting some good time to catch up. We were having a great time! And then there was an accident.
I was in the kitchen when it happened. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the two boys playing on the back porch, their arms reaching up high. Next I heard the screaming. Dashing outside, I found Andrew on the ground, covered in blood. Thankfully, I remembered a warning about the profuse bleeding that typically accompanies a child's head wound. And we were just blocks from the hospital. It was only a short time until we arrived at the hospital, and the stitches were in, and the CT scan was clear, and the only evidence of Andrew's fall was his red hair. But a few days later, the cut is deep and raw. It still feels bloody and in need of some healing.
A few days later, I'm still having vivid memories of the first moments after the fall - the desperate cries, the blood, my holding Andrew's head together. I know - it really could have been so much worse. And I'm grateful to have the privilege of cleaning Andrew's wound, of watching him to confirm that everything seems normal, of having to ask him repeatedly to slow down and rest. But I'm scared. I was scared before this happened, the fear of something bad happening to my kids causing me some underlying anxiety that impacts my thinking and my relationships.
This incident confirms that, try as I may, I can not prevent bad things from happening to my children. I can not control all of their life circumstances. And now, how do I respond? Can I place them in the loving arms of a Father who created them, knows every detail about them, has good plans for their lives, and is the One who can give them true security? This is my hardest test as a mother.