I know, I’ve already admitted that there are some flaws in my logic: feeding the kids healthy foods and making them schlep groceries home in reusable bags does not in fact create an impenetrable force field around them. It does not insulate them in a bubble of eternal health. It does not encircle their precious bodies with impervious walls of steel.
I know this. At some level, I do know this. But in the abyss of the powerless it is these little things that I cling to in a pathetic grasp for control. It’s these little things that make me feel like I am the queen of all I survey. Like I can control the destinies of those who rely on me. It’s the little things, like, for example, a helmet.
On a recent quest for mother-of-the-year, I passed on my usual ‘let’s just hang out at home’ routine, picked the girls up from school and took them ice skating. We had this interchange on the way to the car:
Kira: I thought you said 8 year-olds didn’t have to wear helmets?
This is true. I did let her go sans helmet at her birthday party, which was at the very same ice skating rink-o-trauma. It didn’t seem that scary last month at the party–
I thought for a mili-second, then came up with this in response:
OK, if you are not planning on skating backwards, or skating fast, then yes, you can skip the helmet.
I don’t know how I came up with these parameters, but somehow in my world, birthdays, slow-skating, and going forward offer all the protection a kid could need.
Kira, with haughty eyes and exasperation: Fine. I’ll wear the helmet, Mom.
And so it was that Kira wore her helmet.
And when she fell backwards that helmet went down with her. That helmet hit the ice, hard enough to give her a concussion. For those of you playing at home, that makes two sisters, three concussions, eight years. And just to keep things really exciting, Kira, like her sister, falls into that tiny percentage of people who get concussion-related seizures.
She is, thankfully, fine. She will be totally fine.
Me? I’m fine too. Really I am. It’s just that if you need me, I’ll be in the corner, replaying vividly horrible images and rocking uncontrollably.
And mourning my complete lack of control.