la Ketch

my life story

Monday, June 08, 2009

window guards

We have a set of very steep concrete stairs leading up to the landing outside of our condo. 15 steps. I've been working with Davey to practice walking up and down the steps on his own, while I hold his hand, vs. me carrying him up and down. I'm hoping that he'll be able to do it expertly but the time we have the baby and he's been making progress but on Saturday we were walking down the steps and he slipped from my hand and fell about 3 steps before falling into the side railing. I started screaming, "OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD." And when he stopped falling I whisked him up and carried him down to sit on the bench at the bottom of the stairs and assess his injuries which consisted of a badly scraped knee. As soon as I realized he was ok I burst into tears. "God that really scared me." I told Dup. And I'm crying again as I type this. I'm still shaken by it.

Since Davey has been born he's been hospitalized and had a seizure, he's cracked his head open and gotten stitches, I've locked him in the car with the windows rolled up. All of these things were really scary. Something about watching him fall though, not knowing in that instant if he would stop, knowing that I couldn't get to him faster than gravity was pulling him, scared the shit out of me.

As parents we have to face the fear of the absolute worst thing that could happen, the loss of your child. It is amazing to me that there are people walking around on this earth with this having happened to them. This has actually happened to them. They are many, many people who have lived through this. Dear God I do not want to be one of them. Please God, Please. Not me.

I know that it's not good to live a life in fear and yet you can't be oblivious to the dangers, you must take precautions and be preventative and follow your gut instincts but (and I've asked this question before on this blog recently) are they insticts or is it paranoia?

I know that it's not good to live a life in fear but sometimes it's the fear of losing something that reminds us how valuable what we have actually is. I wish that weren't true. I wish we could know it without the fear.

Like anything else, it's a balancing act.

I've always liked the Jewish Holiday of Passover because it's all about knowing what you have when you have it. Appreciating your life because you know it may not always be like this. It hasn't always been this good. The Jews know a little bit about suffering I guess.

I think it's the secret to life really: knowing what you have when you have it. I saw a production of Our Town recently and I've been thinking about that play a lot lately and that's what it's saying as well. This is your life. Be awake to it while you're living it.

I love my life. My life is perfect and wonderful. I love spending time with my little baby even though I'm tired a lot. I love spending time with my husband and living in our condo and taking walks and making meals but I rarely sit and contemplate it. I'm always working toward something, cleaning or cooking or painting. When I sit it's because I'm so exhausted I can't do any more. How often am I awake? Do we need fear and terror to wake us up? I think we probably do but I wish we didn't.

I don't want to live in fear of something happening to Davey. I want to be brave for him and for myself. I want to enjoy the time I have with him because no matter how long we both live, it will end one day. It's impossible to live each day as if it were our last and I hate that saying because it's ridiculous but how do we stay awake and live without fear? It's not easy.

I keep saying that I can't wait until the kids are both a little older and it's true I look forward to them both getting to be about 4-5 because you can start to do so much more like go camping and ride bikes and not worry about them falling down the stairs or falling out a window. But it's horrible isn't it? To wish them into the future like that! It's truly horrible. I know I will look back on this time and miss it. I'll miss Davey being a crazy little toddler with red hair and 36 words who resembles and little monkey, troll, alien. He's so absolutely hilarious and cute it's unreal. I'll miss having a newborn and how extremely tiny they are and their little sleeping breath on your chest when you hold them. It will be really fun to go camping and ride bikes but I can't wish this away for us. This time is too valuable, to wonderful in and of itself.

It's all going to disappear one day. I know all too well from losing my dad in an instant and having a hole ripped in the space time continuum of our close knit family that it can happen any time. It's in the back of your mind but you can't let the fear of it grip you. It's a tricky thing.

We have large window in each room of our house, including the kid's rooms and the sills are just about 2 feet off the ground on the inside and it's about a 20 foot drop to the ground outside, which is concrete. Davey could easily climb out at this point. My cousin pointed it out to me when she was visiting yesterday and so of course, last night I had a dream that Davey fell out the window. I've been upset about it all day. They sell window guards on line which are basically just bars, you screw bars into the window sills on the inside of the windows so that they can't climb or fall out. There are 3 windows in particular that worry me but there are 5 total and it would be like $100 a window to put the guards on all of them. It's $500 plush tax and shipping that I would really really really really really rather not spend. I'd really really really really really really rather buy a new couch with that money.

What price do you put on peace of mind? Would these window guards take the fear away or would I just find something else to replace it with. Is there something else I could do to baby proof the windows? I'm not sure.
AAAAhhhhhhh. I'll keep you posted.


At 2:24 PM, Blogger L. said...

when i was little, my parents put this . . . well, i guess it was chicken wire, but like, a nice, coated chicken wire that wouldn't hurt you--they put it all around our deck so i wouldn't fall off it into the bay. it was butt-ugly. i was thinking that you might be able to put up something butt-ugly that would be enough to deter D. from climbing out the window, and if it's so crap looking, you'll be eager to take it down when you can. (or if it's just plastic mesh or something, you could take it down when people come over.)

i'm scared every day that something will happen to someone. i try to more cool about it--like, to check in with the debilitating fear and then go get a bagel or something, rather than hang out with it--but it's hard. really hard.


At 9:17 PM, Blogger Bruce said...

I've been worrying a lot. But you and Our Town are right! Enjoy your life! Ok I will. Thanks for the wake up call. Good luck with the window guards decision. ~Bruce


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