If Something Happened to Them, I Would Die.
While watching a completely fictional TV show, I heard a woman describe how she felt about the children in her life:
“I love them like… If something happened to them, I would die. My heart is so wide open. And they’re so fragile. I don’t know how you live like this.”
I had to pause the show, rewind, and listen to it over again. It’s a good thing I watch TV “on demand” or it may have gotten by me. But I listened to it again.
“If something happened to them, I would die.”
I thought and thought about this. And then I thought some more. Because honestly, I think about this all the time. It’s the reason I worry so much about them. It’s the reason I’m a bit too … involved in what they do.
I don’t think I can live if something happens to them.
My children have been lectured so often about safety, in so many aspects of their lives, that their little brains are full of things they probably never needed to know. They know what to do if they see a gun, or find out someone has one. They know what to do if someone grabs them from a crowded play area and runs off. They know the dangers of mosquitos (West Nile virus) and ticks (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease) and bed bugs (just annoying).
They know how to read labels on processed foods, and what contains obscene amounts of sugar. They know that fruits and vegetables are essential to their overall health, and that fruit juice is not. They know about nitrates and caramel coloring and the difference between real food and the stuff most Americans eat. They know that their plates should be colorful, and not because they are eating rainbow-colored Goldfish.
They know that car crashes are the leading cause of accidental death among children. They know that, when they get their driver’s licenses, they should drive like all the other drivers on the road are deaf and blind. And they know that any number of drivers could simply plow them down on the street when they are walking, so they need to be extra vigilant when crossing.
Because if something happened to them… I would die.
This doesn’t seem right, or even okay.
In fact, it’s more likely that something will happen to them and I will not die. It’s likely not to be something catastrophic, for which we are all supposedly prepared. It’s likely to be a broken limb, or pneumonia, or a broken heart. And I won’t die when those things happen – or any of the other things for which I am completely unprepared.
I will be here for them, no matter what, for as long as I possibly can.
Everything else is up to God.
It’s just hard to remember that most of the time.