Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Scariest Day as a Father

I was sitting with my, then 2 year old son Ben when I decide I was getting bored and wanted to sit at the computer. Since summer was over, it was my first week alone with the other kids in school and Ben at home. We had never had this much alone time and over the summer I had grown accustom to the older kids helping me keep an eye on him. It was the second day of school that year and our second day of being alone. I had done so many activities the day before, I ran out of ideas, so we watched TV instead. He was enjoying the show so I figured I could get away for a little bit and, seeing as the computer is in the same room as the TV, I figured it would be fine.

I don’t know how long I messed around on Facebook but I heard the laundry stop so I went into the laundry room to fold what was done drying. After about 5 minutes in there, I finished folding, went back into the living room and sat right back on the computer. I didn't even check on my 2 year old, I just went back to typing a comment. My friends were discussing Fight Club; obviously I had to join in the conversation. That is when I heard the blood chilling scream from upstairs. I jumped from my seat and I see him crying at the top of the stairs; blood steadily dripping from his hand as he makes his way down to me. I pick him up and see he has a cut between his thumb and his index finger. I can see white inside and as I take a good look at it, blood shoots out as if from a small squirt gun. I think back to all those cop/war/medical dramas and I put pressure on it praying that is what I am actually supposed to do and not making it worse. I am running around the house looking for something to grab when I see an apple sitting in the living room with the sharpest knife we own stuck through it. I knew exactly what had happened. We had just finished lunch and after I cleaned up I left the knife from cutting apples sitting on the counter. After running around for a minute as the blood is dripping and spraying everywhere I get my head together and finally find a new roll of paper towels and an Ace bandage. I wrapped his hand in it to at least stop the blood from dripping everywhere.

 He is still crying harder than he ever has and with every breath he takes I am praying he takes another. I can’t stop thinking about all those parents, I heard about as a kid, that walked away for 2 minutes from their babies and next they they knew the kid was in a well or taken or attacked or any other tragic that can take your child from you forever. I rushed him to the van, calling my wife an mother praying one of them will be able to pick up the other kids from school, and proceeded to strapped him into the car seat and rush to the hospital. As I got down the street he went quiet; I feared the worst had happened when I notice he was only asleep, I could feel his pulse racing as I raced every light to the hospital. For the rest of the drive I had one hand on the wheel and one on his chest, making sure he was still breathing. I couldn't stop thinking about what could have happened. I kept going to the worst scenario; He could have died while I wasn't looking and I was too “busy” to check on him. I has too lost in my own world of Facebook and acting like I am a great father to even notice my child was about to stab himself with a knife.

Turns out he missed all the important stuff and just needed stitches. My son was okay, but I was not. I kept thinking I was a bad father and that maybe I wasn't cut out to be a dad. I imagined what would happen if he had died; I saw the cops arresting me thinking I had done it on purpose, my wife going emotionally and financially bankrupt, my kids growing up knowing their dad had killed their little brother. The fear and mistrust that would always follow them for the rest of their lives. I saw my whole families future destroyed all because I just had to do one more comment and let all my friends know how much I like the movie Fight Club. I just had to read one more status; play one more game. I realized that to be a good father isn't just being in the room with your child. It means interacting with them no matter how bored you become. It means keeping them close even when you have to leave the room you must always know where they are and dangers are around them. It means showing them how much you love them at all times even when they do something they should not be doing. It means being a dad; especially at those time when you don’t want to be one. I’m not going to say I have changed a lot since this happened but it has done one thing for me; it has made me be more attentive and to pay more attention to him. As far as Ben goes he hasn't change much; in fact he gets in to things on a regular basis. He is now 3 and is just as wild if not more so…But I can say I have never seen him with that super sharp knife again.

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