Monday, June 30, 2008

Tragedy and Parenting

Before I had my daughter in January, I could have never fathomed the agony a story like this must produce:
A 3-year-old girl drowned in a pool at a friend's home in Milwaukee.

Officers said it happened at a home near 80th Street and Tesch Avenue at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police said the girl might have been wearing a flotation device earlier in the day, but took it off to eat dinner.

While I can't even imagine surviving the death of my daughter, I have many family members who have lost children and they all say "You find a way, you have to."

The worst part is that the child had the water wings on and took them off to eat. This oversight by the parents will inevitably lead them to endless self-recriminations that are, obviously, undeserved. Yes, they probably should have noticed but life is fast and frantic and children are as kinetic as quicksilver. The reality is, terrible terrible things happen and no amount of care can prevent that.

I must qualify all of this by saying that I regularly go into my daughter's room to check if she is breathing and have an absolutely irrational terror about walking when my daughter is on the floor for some reason. Vivid images of me stepping on her skull flash into my mind and I almost have to immediately sit down.

Who knew you could ever care about something so much? Even with the risk of such terrible loss, I can only pity those who have chosen not to have children. I'm not better than you, I just feel sad that you'll never know the most powerful love in the world.


Alice H said...

Don't worry, it gets worse. I could tell you stories, but why freak you out? I will say this: we learned the hard way (but not as hard as it could have been, thankfully) that it is imperative to keep the baby monitor within earshot at all times if you put your daughter to bed even a little bit sick.

Moron Pundit said...

That might be the scariest thing I've ever heard.

Guess I'd better invest in a good baby monitor.

Alice H said...

I'm probably scaring you worse than you should be, although I think a baby monitor is more of a necessity than people think about.

I'll send you an email with details.

Anonymous said...

MP... must ask: Have you heard from Old Iron at all in the last week? Many over at his site and myself are looking for him. Any help you can provide would greatly help and is certainly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

About the point where you say "yep, I'd kill and/or die for her" is when you get hit by the enormity of how much you got re-wired. I'm seeing that with both my daughter and son.

Don't get freaked out. You'll be fine. You already have a healthy appreciation for the job!

Baby monitors are the best! If you would like a piece of unsolicited advice... get one that also vibrates. I'm missing about half of my hearing, and there are times when you can't hear it well because of background noise, and having it clipped to your belt is invaluable, because you will not miss the sometimes quiet sounds.

Topcat said...

It's amazing how much my husband and I changed since our son came into our lives. News stories that used to make us go "gee, that's too bad!" now make me cry and ruin my day.

A young child died here recently during an airshow (it involved really bad weather) and that was bad enough (I was going to take our son but chickened out because of the crowds).

But then the local news showed a picture of the child and went on and on about him and interviewed people who knew him. I had to stop my husband from putting a chair through the T.V.- he was raging at that point.

Local news is now banned in our house.

Alice H said...

The funny thing is, the local news will claim they were paying tribute to the child instead of exploiting his death for ratings.

So have you bought a baby monitor yet, MP?