Monday, January 23, 2012

Be Kind


Last night I stumbled across a blog post written in regard to parents who deal with food allergies.  In it, the person talked about how when her older child started school, there was a child in the class who had a food allergy.  This child's mom was always "hovering", watching him very closely.  The blogger admitted to making fun of the other mom for this (and for being ashamed of it).  But now, the blogger has a food allergic child of her own, and understands where the other mom was coming from.

Reading the blog post made me think of the quote I have posted above.  I stumbled across this quote awhile back on Pinterest, and it really struck me.  It is so very true.  You never know why a person does what they do, but chances are there is a very good reason for it.

One of the common complaints is about moms that hover.  Helicopter moms as they are often called.  Mom's that are germaphobes or are terrified of their kids getting hurt.

I was never much of a hoverer with Cody.  I was also never big on using hand sanitizers or that sort of thing.  I wasn't one to follow him around the playground watching his every move.  Then Luke came along.  Between his 5 bouts of pneumonia in less than a year, and his food allergies, I became very paranoid about what he touched or put into his mouth.  Have I mentioned that he puts everything in his mouth?  Last summer we were driving home from a playground when Cody told me Luke had something in his mouth.  I pulled over, dug in his mouth, to find that he had a few rocks stuffed into his cheeks like a hamster.  He managed to do this even with me watching him as much as I could.  He's a food thief.  He will take cups or food that is left sitting unattended, and it immediately goes into his mouth.  He also has no fear at the playground.  With Cody I was lucky, he was (and still is) very cautious.  He wasn't one to climb up too high or jump off the equipment.  Luke will do both of those things in a heartbeat.  So yes, I hover.  Isn't that my job though, to know my child's personality and know what I need to do to protect him until he's old enough to understand better?

Back to the everyone has a battle quote.  When I became pregnant with Cody, I also became active on various parenting message boards.  Through that I have met many wonderful moms.  I've also learned of several tragedies involving kids.  I'd like to talk about a couple of them to go along with the quote.

One of them lost her 3 year old son to meningitis several years ago.  She will never know where he picked it up at, but an innocent exposure to germs lead to her 3 year old baby losing his life.

The other one lost her 9 month old daughter this past summer to something equally as innocent.  The baby was standing at the sofa, as many babies do when they're first learning how to stand and cruise the furniture.  The baby lost her balance and fell backward, as many babies have done.  She landed on her back, the back of her head hitting the padded and carpeted floor.  Not concrete.  Not even hardwood.  Not the table.  Padded and carpeted floor.  The baby sustained a fatal injury to her brain from this fall.

I've never been in this kind of position, but it's not hard to imagine what going through something like this would do to a parent.  If a mom appears to be extra cautious about germs, or their child being injured, or what they put into their mouths - cut them some slack.  You never know what their story may be.  They could have gone through something as tragic as losing a child.  Or their child could have just been diagnosed with life threatening food allergies or immune deficiency.  The mom going overboard with hand sanitizer may have a child at home fighting cancer, and the family may be doing their best to keep everyone healthy.  


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