My Worst Fears

Monday, July 25, 2011
My daughter as an infant.
This past weekend, we decided to do a family day trip at a nearby cave system. As we waited for our turn on the tour, my 2 YO daughter fell head first off a picnic table. Even standing right next to her, I wasn't fast enough to save her. There was this awful hollow crack as her head hit the asphalt. I scooped her up. Instead of screaming in pain, she cried weakly. Then her little body went limp in my arms. Her eyes fluttered back.

My heart collapsed inside my chest and I cried for my husband. An eternity later, her eyes focused on me. We watched her closely after that. Especially her eyes, to make sure they were equally dilated and reactive to light. I also knew it would be really bad if she started throwing up.

After over half an hour of crying, she finally settled down. Later, my ER nurse sister-in-law checked her out and proclaimed her fine. She said that children knock themselves out easier than adults because of their softer bones. As long as she didn't have any symtoms of a concussion in the first two hours, she should be fine.

But for those few seconds, I stood on the precipice of my worst fears. That something bad would happen to one of my children. That I would have failed to prevent it.

What's your worst fear?


  1. Regina said...:

    Bless your heart, that must have been so terrifying for you. I think that I felt that way when one winter my son decided to go down one of the hills in our woods backward and hit a tree slamming his back. I thought he broke something but after a visit to the emergency room, using his sled as a stretcher because we were afraid to move him, he turned out to be bruised not broken. Your heart just stops and you forget to breathe.

  1. First, I relieved that your daughter is okay. That has got to be the scariest feeling any parent can experience. I'm glad it worked out.

    My worst fear, aside from bees and wasps, is that my kids don't live their lives to the fullest. They're 16 and 18 so the toddler fears have come and gone. They've avoided drugs, and things are going smoothly.

  1. I'm so glad your daughter is okay.
    I'm a Mum of 3 girls and totally get your fear as it is mine also.
    Mine are 13, 9 & 4. The youngest has asthma and has been hospitalized several times which is scary in itself but when she was 1 1/2 her oldest sister accidentally slammed a heavy door on her hand and it chopped the top half of her little finger off!! Holding her in the operating theater waiting for the anesthetic to take effect before the surgeons sewed it back on was THE scariest moment of my entire life. The blood was fine, the screaming child was fine, picking up the chopped off finger was fine, but that moment when I had to had her over to someone else to keep safe was the single most hardest moment I have ever experienced. It all ended happily (her finger is only 1cm shorter than it should be) but that fear for my girls is always present.

  1. I am so happy your daughter is okay. When I read the title and read the first paragraph, I assumed the worst, but I am so happy for you. It just makes you think that it could be any one of us, at any moment. My worst fear? Losing someone I love. So far, I haven't had to face it yet.

  1. My heart was in my throat. So glad your daughter is alright. Mine managed to get to adulthood with no broken bones or stitches until her first car accident when she flipped her car twice. As a parent even though she's now an adult (23) my worst fear still remains something might happen to her.

    Second worst fear was going deaf and since I've bypassed that frightening milestone...I can honestly say our fears fuel our writing. (Hugs)Indigo

  1. Regina: I was utterly terrified. Sounds like your son was very lucky. Thank heaven for guardian angels.

    Charlie: Drugs scare me too. I've seen beautiful kids ruin themselves.

    Cath: Oh my, I don't deal well with blood at all. My insides go all squirmy. I'm glad everything was alright in the end.

    Connie: I've seen it. My cousin buried her 16 YO suddenly a little over a year again. Her keening was the worst sound I've ever heard in my life.

    Indigo: You're right. Our fears make great fodder for our writing. I'm glad she was okay after her accident. I had an accident at 9 that resulted in over 80 stitches (the doc lost count after that).

  1. Shanella said...:

    Oh no! I'm so glad that your daughter is ok. That is heart wrenching.

  1. Unknown said...:

    Almost every time my own toddlers got hurt, I was within arm's reach. I'm sure I prevented just as many injuries as I missed, but it sure makes you feel like a lousy mom, doesn't it? Them suckers are FAST!

    So glad she's okay!!

  1. Wow. That is terrifying. I have a fear of being homeless. I have a good job but I see homeless people all the time in Salt Lake City and I wonder sometimes how they ended up that way. What if life just decided to come after me and I lost my job, etc. because of bad times and a bad economy? I think that's a pretty bad fear. I like having a place to live that's warm.

  1. @ Michael - I was almost homeless last year. I found work just in time. You're right. That is scary.

  1. Your worst fear and mine are the same, Amber. I'm glad to hear your daughter is okay. I couldn't imagine what I would do if a bad situation happened to one of my kids. Granted, I'm the one in my family sustaining the worst injuries in the last few years. Hopefully they'll learn from me. All best.

  1. I share your fear. I can't even think hypothetically about bad things happening to my kids. I was pretty much without any fears before I had kids. :/

  1. !!!! I am so glad she's OK, but that would freak me out to the point that I would not be able to recover for quite a while. :(

  1. LC Piper said...:

    Wow Amber! I'm sorry. We've had a few visits from the fire and emergency crew when our allergy stricken child nearly stopped breathing or ate peanuts once so I think I understand a little about that fear and helplessness.
    But I don't think I'll ever be able to look at those Anne Geddes like baby photo's ever again and say isn't that cute. They all look so final now.

  1. Shanella: Me too. And it was.

    Robin: Yes. I still have guilt that I didn't catch her, but like you said, she was fast.

    Mike and Charlie: That's never been one of my fears. I know I could always move in with my parents or my in laws if it ever got that bad. I'm super lucky that way--though I can't imagine how scary it would be to not have like 500 relatives that would step in and help if I needed them.

    Dave: I think most people with kids are the same way.

    Andrew: That's why I stopped watching crime shows. I can't stand seeing people hurt. Although, for some reason, this doesn't stop me from hurting them in my fiction ???

    Michelle: She STILL has a bump on the head. And it's been A WEEK!

    Luke: SCARY! I'm sosososo glad my kids don't have any scary allergies. That kind of hyperviligance would drive me nuts.

  1. Maybe it's because when you're writing it, you're in control?

  1. Wow! That must have been so frightening. Unfortunately, it never gets any less frightening, even they have gotten married and no longer live under your roof. My take on a mother's fears, check this out.

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

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