Hello Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
Let me tell you about a parenting horror story that happened to me.
Something upsetting happened on Tuesday that was kind of really, really upsetting. And I wanted to talk to you guys about it because I’ve been thinking about it a lot. It’s not a parent’s WORST nightmare, but it’s definitely A nightmare.
My older son, Luke, is just over three years old. And he’s discovered how to unlock the child locks in the house, because humanity has yet to design a child lock that is truly child proof.
Anyway he got into the kitchen cabinet under the sink and pulled out a bottle of 409, and then he sprayed my youngest son, Desmond, in the face with it.
We did the whole poison control center thing, and that night Meghan took Desmond to the hospital, and he’s fine. There’s no lasting effect on his vision or anything else.
He was rubbing his eyes a lot, somewhat understandably, and he did get mild scratches on both his eyeballs, but they’re healing well and we have antibiotic eyedrops to make sure it doesn’t get infected.
This was pretty much the worst thing that’s ever happened to me as a parent. And in that sense, I’m really lucky.
Many worse things could have happened, and have happened to other people, things I don’t even want to talk about because that’s just TOO much sadness right now. Or ever.
But the worst part about it wasn’t even what physically happened to Desmond. That passed fairly quickly and doesn’t have any lasting effects.
The worst part is the confusion. The confusion in a child’s eyes when something goes wrong is the worst thing in the world.
Like, Luke was confused because clearly he didn’t know what he was doing. And all of a sudden his brother is in tremendous pain and he just…cannot process it. Like, CANNOT.
But even worse, it was like I could SEE Desmond wondering what had happened. Like he was trying to figure out or make sense of what had just been done to him, as though there was some sense to be made out of it.
How do you explain to children who don’t even know what cause and effect are, why a thing happened? Or what they can do to prevent it in the future?
I mean we had a long, long talk with Luke, obviously. Several of them, in fact. And I think he gets it. But like, how can I really be sure?
And as for Desmond…there is no way to explain what happened, or explain that it isn’t his fault, or explain that sometimes a bad thing can just happen out of nowhere.
The horrible thing is that I know things are going to get worse when they get older. When they start seeing the really bad things in the world like real pain, and sickness, and torture, and especially death.
All of these things are going to hurt them, so so badly, when they happen to other people. Especially people that they know and love. And I am going to have to explain these things to them.
How can you possibly explain to a child the colossal unfairness of the universe? About how at any time, humanity’s existence on Earth could be ended and it wouldn’t be the fault of anyone here?
How do you tell your children that good and evil VERY much exist in the human mind, but that so, so often, bad things happen not because a bad person did them, but because they just…happen?
So that’s what yesterday’s thoughts were like. Today’s are…kind of the same, as you can see.
As with so many other times in my life, and as so many other people do, I think I’d better get back to work. Not because it will fix the world’s problems, but because it’s better than sitting here and thinking about them.
Thank you so much for watching, Rebels, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye.