the impossibility of safety

My boys are what you would expect from boys: rowdy and rough. And I love that they like to wrestle each other, to play ball, to climb into their fort. They are quintessential little men in that way. But unfortunately, this lifestyle of theirs leads to bumps and bruises and scrapes. And with each bump or bruise or scrape, I freak out. Not just freak out, freak the fuck out. I am that psycho mom that coddles her child over a tiny cut while he’s saying, “I’m fine, mom!” Have you seen The Goldberg’s? I’m Beverly Goldberg. 
Before these boys, I probably assumed a kid with scrapes or bruises was neglected – that any child properly supervised would also be safe. I’ve quickly learned that is not always true. My children are properly supervised and even still, they find ways to bang themselves up. Sometimes, Holden will knock his head against something while I’m holding him. He will just headbutt something because that’s what he does. If I’m Beverly Goldberg, Holden is Steve Martin’s kid on Parenthood that bangs his head against the wall.
I always promise Brandon when he is scared that he is all safe with mommy and daddy and nothing can hurt him, but I know that he can still get hurt. I wish I could save him from everything harmful, but the fact is, I can’t. I want to put my boys in bubbles and keep everything evil and hurtful away from them. I want to be everything they need, even the impossible. But maybe that’s what’s important: not what you can do, but what you will attempt.
I think we have a moral obligation to our children that can be easily summarized: number one, protect them from harm. 
~ Tom Allen

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