Lately I have been seeing stories on TV, the internet and in blogs about kids dying. Kids dying from cancer, getting hit by cars, being killed by strangers and family members, school shootings, accidental shootings etc. To be perfectly honest, this scares the living shit out of me.
For instance, I recently read 2 stories about 2 families that both lost one of their children to cancer at age 5; a Grandmother that killed her 5 month old grandchild with a sledgehammer and carving knife; a 3 year old that shot his 18 month old sibling with a neighbors gun; a 3 year old boy who ran into the street for his Frisbee and got hit by a truck; and on Saturday one of my sister's 7th grade students was found with a self inflicted gunshot wound, it was ruled an accident.
I can only protect my child so much without being paranoid. I still have to let him be a kid. I still have to let him go out in public, go to school, participate in park district activities, go to other people's homes and trust he's in a safe environment. But will he be? How will I know that when he's at someone's house that they have their gun safely locked away? How will I know that a car won't drive by and randomly shoot him? How will I know that he won't just cross a street without looking? How do I know he won't be a victim in a tragic event?
After finding out my sisters student's death was ruled an accident, the first thought that crossed my mind was, "Wow, I can't believe his parents didn't have their gun locked away so this wouldn't have happened." Then my second thought was, "Is my gun even safely locked away?" The second I got home I asked my husband this question, and yes, the gun is locked away where my son could never find it. Whew! At least he's protected from guns in MY home. But there's so much more.
I think I am additionally paranoid because of the fact that he's my only child. I'm sure it's no easier losing a child if you have more than one child, but if you have more than one, you can shift your focus and you are still a parent. If I ever lost my child, that's it, game over. I will NEVER be a parent again. Is this enough of a reason to have another child? I think not. I am not going to have another kid as back up. That just makes no sense to me. Besides, I am getting too old to have more children now anyway.
I hate to sound like a negative nelly, but I also don't want to be naïve and think my child is invincible. I will do my best to keep him safe, but I will also do my best to make sure he lives life to the fullest.
This kid..... is my everything.