“I would do it all over again if I had to,” he said. “I saw my bike tire going straight for his head,” he said. He knew he had to do something. So he did.
Detail by detail, I dragged it all out of them. The pair of them, hobbling into the garage asking me to put up their bikes. They were surprisingly reticent about sharing the details, which made my mom-antennae go up. Yup, someone messed up. Badly.
But not my husband. Nope. My son. Who decided he could yank his bike out of the rut by turning the handlebars. Predictable results there – he crashed. But he crashed right in front of my husband’s path. So dad, being the super protective, take-care-of-my-kids-first kind of person that he is, crashed his bike too.
But not a lame, floppy kind of crash. No, he FLIPPED his bike OVER our son and landed on the sidewalk beyond him, with the bike on top.
I should add – it wasn’t my son’s fault. He did not cause this accident (he did? but he didn’t. Not really.) It’s not his fault. Inexperience, an unlucky rut, a wonky tire – that caused the chain of event to unfold. It’s not his fault.
So his dad’s arm in a sling, not his fault. The fractured arm, not his fault. The bruised chest from crashing into the handlebars – not his fault. The late night emergency room visit – not his fault. No, that’s just the cost of being a responsible parent. Taking the injury so that your kid doesn’t get hurt.
I was going to write a sappy Father’s Day kind of post anyway, but I can’t top this. This is the essence of who my husband is – a man willing to stop his bike so fast that he flies through the air to keep his son safe. A man who refused to act like it was a big deal so that his kid wouldn’t be upset, who hobbled home on that same bike so that I didn’t have to get the younger kids out of bed to go pick them up.
This is what it means to be a parent. To love your kids so much that you’ll willingly risk yourself for them. To make the decision in a split second without even considering the cost to yourself.
If he hadn’t, he would have hit the Engineer square in the head with his bike. He would have fallen on our son. The Engineer is a sturdy kind of 7-year-old, but no 7-year-old could take the weight of a full-grown man falling on him without injury. The Engineer would have been the one in the ER instead, facing god knows what kind of future ahead of him. I go cold thinking about the possibilities.
Instead, my husband is in a sling for Father’s Day. He wants it that way. Because he would rather take the pain than let one of them get hurt – keeping our kids safe is his priority.
Happy Father’s Day hun – and thank you. For being the father that you are.
p.s. the thought of you flying through the air makes me go cold in fear too, so please refrain from that in the future if you can.