On my way home yesterday I got a call from my wife. She said the my 9 year old daughter had an accident. She caught her foot on her swim bag when she got out of the car. She was OK but had a bad scrape on her knee and a pretty good shiner. No swim practice, so I headed home.
When I got home, Katherine was on the couch with a cold soda can on her eye. I asked her if she remembers what happened and she said yes and that she didn't lose consciousness. I huddled the troops together and told them again how important it was to be careful. I told them that accidents can happen when you least expect them and that being in a hurry only makes them more likely to happen. I reiterated the rule we recently made about getting out of the car before an adult. Katherine has a habit of jumping out of the car as soon as it stops.
I understand that they're kids and that this won't be the last time we have this conversation. None the less, as a parent my number one job is to make sure they are OK and don't hurt themselves. I'm a pretty careful guy. I always make sure I'm aware of my surroundings and what's going on so that I don't get hurt. I might have jinxed myself my saying that. I understand that if I get hurt, I won't be able to take care of my family.
I don't remember what that changed. When did I go from a care free to a careful person? I see people who jump out of planes and bungee jump and think "do they have anyone to take care of at home?" Maybe I'm too cautious? Either way, my job right now is to make sure my kids don't jump out of planes. It's a lot harder than you think.