One of my big fears happened this morning. Gavin fell down the stairs. They are wooden with no carpet to help absorb a fall. There are fourteen steps and Gavin was on step seven. Directly in the middle.
I cringe whenever he walks up, or down, with socks on. The house, and stairs, are new. The oak stairs are stained dark brown, and are slippery. I think about him falling down the stairs in the middle of the night. Among other fears. Megan and I talk often about how best to keep him safe. He’s not yet four and, in our opinion, should not be walking up and down these stairs alone. He was not alone. I was in front of him.
It was early morning. We had just finished brushing our teeth. Gavin held his large T-Rex in his right hand as I stood in front of him and took my first step down. I watched over my should as he grabbed for the railing, held it and started down behind me.
I usually pace him, step for step, until we reach the bottom. Half way down, Gavin stopped and complained about his sock on his right foot. Stating it had something in it. I was now at the bottom looking up at him and gauging a possible fall. I do this with everything when it comes to his safety. I have been called a helicopter parent behind my back because most people are cowards and are afraid to say what they mean while in person. That is not me. I say exactly what I mean and I write exactly that way too. I will happily continue to be a safety aware parent until Gavin no longer needs me to be.
I asked Gavin to sit, trying to trust him more, and to take his sock off. Gavin did this. He then tossed his sock toward me. I had told him that I would fix the sock once he was downstairs. I asked him to stand and hold onto the railing and to be careful because he still had one sock on and that it was slippery on the wooden stairs. He stood, reached for the railing, and slipped. I immediately started up the stairs calculating when I could intercept his fall. Both of my hands were full with sea creatures.
He lost any grip he may have had on the railing and did a split with the slippery sock leading the way. He bounced when he landed, on his side, and the compression expelled his body into the air. I rushed and caught Gavin, with both arms just as his head was about to hit a wooden step. One under his neck and the other under his knees. He looked at me with a stunned expression and started to cry. I nearly did too. I held him like a baby and walked to the couch while asking him if he was OK. He stopped crying somewhat quickly and said that he was. I asked him if it scared him that he fell down the stairs? He nodded yes, but later told me he wasn’t scared.
I was. I still am. I shook for an hour. I had a hard time dropping him off at his school/daycare. I didn’t want to let him out of my sight.
It can happen so quickly. A life changing event. So damn quickly.
I hope you are all as well as possible today.