Shit but I got the fright of my life today! My five year old fell, his mouth hit the granite kitchen counter top and knocked his two front teeth back. They literally have shifted position. My God! There was blood pouring from his mouth, he was crying hysterically and his dad and I just calmly panicked - meaning we were trying to act soothingly calm for our son but panicking to each other via eye contact over our son's head.
Luckily no teeth were broken, although they look quite loose. As I held my son over the bath for him to rinse and spit with a saline solution to wash the blood out of his mouth, all I could see amidst the blood was just swollen lips and gums and skew teeth. I nearly fainted.
In the end all is fine, considering. Our boy's teeth are tender and not in their original place, but luckily it is his baby teeth so even if they come out, it's really not the end of the world. Phew.
But the shock to my system immediately re-booted me into gratitude. Gratitude for my son, which I always feel, but sometimes it's faintly in the background. Today my gratitude for him simply being, existing, as my child, came rushing to the fore. Gratitude for all the ways today's accident could've turned out but didn't, and also, strangely, gratitude for the accident itself, in that it was a lesson learnt, with no serious consequences. We have been telling him over and over not to climb up on the counter, but he is a child and so he keeps on doing it anyway, but I believe that today he has learnt his lesson.
This little shock also made me think of mothers worldwide, every day, dealing with similar situations. Scrapes, cuts, broken bones, illnesses, and accidents. And my heart just feels such love for all of us, who mother and tend to the "boos-boos" and kiss the pain away. We really are unsung heroes, and yes, that's been said before, but we need to appreciate ourselves as mothers and keep saying it. Dads too, of course, but my mother heart identifies with mothers. But definitely Dads too. Dads are awesome. We parents are called time and again by these incidents/accidents to feel our love for our children and to be in the moment with them. We are warriors of love.
Almost every day, I get caught up in routines - teeth brushing, bathing, schooling - but something like today has slowed me down just enough to remember that it's my love for and connection with my son that really matters and is the only thing that needs to be focused on daily.
Of course, an accident like this also makes me extra aware that I truly have no control over what happens in life. Try as I might, (and believe me, I do try!) I simply cannot prevent my child from feeling pain, be it physical or emotional, and I cannot prevent bad things from happening, as much as I totally organise everything in order to do so. It's fucking scary as hell, this realisation that we actually have no control, but it is part and parcel of parenting, and heck, of life itself. The fact that we delude ourselves into thinking we do have any control is the crazy part, but we still try, and you can bet that I will continue to do so. I will continue to take every safety precaution there is, but today was life's reminder that after I have taken the precautions, then ultimately I have no choice but to let go.
Love and let go.