Just two weeks ago, I was asking my 2-year-old son, Audi, to please stop climbing, jumping off of things and running around because I didn't want him to get hurt. Now I am looking at him completely immobilized in a cast that covers his entire right leg and goes all the way up to his chest in what the medical professionals call a spica cast.
Yes, even after my constant pleas for my son to not act like a 2-year-old, he did just that. In failed attempt to climb the coat rack to retrieve his jacket, he fell along with the rack, breaking his femur.
The excitement didn't end there, and he was awarded an ambulance ride to Primary Children's Hospital and an overnight stay in a room with a view. And when I say awarded, I am not at all thinking about the bill that will soon make its way to our mailbox (wink, wink).
In the days since the accident, I have given a lot of thought to how we could prevent another one like it. After all, our family has endured a broken finger, foot, collarbone, separated shoulder and now a broken femur. We've been glued, stapled and stitched back together several times over, including my recent knee-splitting incident.
It makes me wonder. Are we accident prone or reckless? Are we neglectful parents? All of the above?
However, I'd like to think that there's a better and more accurate explanation to why these things keep happening: It's because we are always in motion.
As much as I beg my kids to stop climbing, jumping, running around and wrestling, they do so because it is in their nature. And if I'm honest, it is in my nature to do all of those things, too — even at the age of 35!
Truth be told, when I ask my kids to slow down, I am really enjoying watching them move around and play, knowing full well that the odds are someone will eventually get hurt.
Simply put, children in motion is a beautiful thing. The way they fearlessly climb from chair to countertop to cupboard in order to get a cookie shows not only strategic agility but also determination, independence and even a little defiance.
When my 4-year-old climbs on top of the mantle only to launch himself onto the cushioned ottoman below, it shows physical accuracy, bravery and intelligence because a soft landing is always best.
And even though my 2-year-old is currently experiencing the consequences of an unconquered climb, I don't think it will slow him down for long — nor will I force him to do so.
Because I'd much rather watch my children run, jump and climb with the chance of getting hurt than sit still and never know what it's like to fall — or better yet, be lucky enough to spend a month in a spica cast.