In my house, on my watch, it happened.
Wednesday night my 15-month-old was sleeping when we arrived home from our usual Wednesday church activities and grocery shopping. I carried him into the house and laid him down on my bed which he climbs on and off multiple times each day with no problem.
As I walked back into the dining room, I noticed a cookie or rather the stomped-on crumbs of what had once been a cookie. I grabbed the handheld vacuum and turned it on.
That’s when I heard the thump.
The thump was followed immediately by wailing as my husband and I raced to the bedroom. He got there first and found our baby face down on the hardwood floor.
The x-rays showed a broken clavicle.
There’s nothing to do about it except let it heal and try to have him play gently for the next few weeks. (If anyone knows how to get a 15-month-old active boy who wants to keep up with his siblings to play gently, pretty please, send me tips!)
Even now, just a few days later, I can tell the pain is almost gone. He rarely fusses. The sparkle is back in his eye, he’s back to playing peek-a-boo, and he’s sharing his gleeful smiles again.
He’s getting back to normal as if nothing ever happened.
But, my mama heart is broken for the pain my baby had to endure.
What if I had done things differently? What if I had put him in his crib? What if I had waited until morning to vacuum the cookie crumbs? What if we had stayed in the car and driven longer?
They say hindsight is 20/20. But the fact is, we can never know what might have happened if we would have taken a different action. Honestly, my little monkey can crawl out of his crib and could have landed right on his head. If I’d have waited to vacuum, he probably would have been chasing the vacuum like he loves to do, and being the graceful person that I am (ha-ha) I could have tripped over him or stepped on him. If we had simply driven a little longer, we could have been in an accident.
Yes, all those scenarios sound a little far-fetched, but so is my baby who successfully climbs on and off my bed multiple times a day falling off and breaking a bone.
As moms, we must come to grips with the fact that we are not in ultimate control.
Oh, we try to be in control. We buy the right food. We follow the car seat safety guidelines. We monitor their growth. We watch for signs of illness. We do the recommended activities. But in the very end, we cannot control every aspect of our lives in such a way as to ensure our children’s absolute safety.
Ultimately, we must let go of our need to control our lives and instead trust the One who is in total control with our children. That doesn’t mean we kick up our feet and ignore safety hazards. Instead, it means when we lay our head down on the pillow at night and when we pick it back up in the morning, we turn our fears and worries over to the One who is the strong protector who never sleeps. He is always on duty.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;