Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I know somebody who died like that...

Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Being a mother , a nurse, and having a compulsive personality is even harder. (NO comments from the peanut gallery on the compulsive personality are allowed.)

When you have 3 boys growing up in one household you always live in fear that someone will get physical and get hurt. Therefore, there was one steadfast rule in our household. We may have been lenient on some of our rules but this ONE rule was unbreakable :

Our house was always the house where all the neighborhood kids came to hang out....sometimes for days on end...and we really enjoyed having them and never minded that they were there. It was sometimes a challenge to get the whole group of kids to stick to the no roughhousing rule, but in most cases, they all knew the rule and complied.

While trying to enforce this no roughhousing rule, I would generally make some point of telling experiences where people got hurt doing dumb things. Being a nurse gave me many stories of how people do DUMB things and get hurt. I usually made some comment about the fact that no one EXPECTED to get hurt but it sometimes happens. Being a worrier, as all mothers are to a point, I talked about everything.
For example:
Boys: Mom we are going out to play in the snow and ride our sleds.
Mom: Be careful, one of my good friends in high school ran into a tree while sledding and died. (This really was a true story.) I usully expounded on the details a little more to try to make my point.
Boys: We are going out to play basketball.
Mom: Be careful, you could: fall, break your leg, get hit in the face or many other endings to the be careful comment that may fit the occassion.

There are a number of things that really send me over the edge in reminders to be careful. Some of my real hangups include:

Fireworks: I took care of a guy that burned his private parts when I was just a brand new nurse and that really made an impression. I also told on many occassions, if I needed to change up the story, that the boys' uncle lost his finger while doing fireworks. The thinking on changing up the warning was to show that it could happen to them too!

Lightening: I hate lightening and am really afraid of it. Whenever the boys were playing baseball and some coach (Coach Dad included) said, Oh, that thunder is miles away so there is no need to worry about the lightening, I always told some story about someone getting hurt or killed. I always quoted the safety rule of : when you hear thunder you should take cover. ( I'll save the story about the one coach who was out on the field using a rake to smooth the field, while it was thundering and lightening up a storm. He did have the sense to have the boys off the field, but my thought on that was "What kind of example is this setting!!!")
I still to this day warn the men of my family who work at the golf course to seek cover when they hear thunder.

Driving: the boys can quote my warnings about driving safety because I just can't seem to keep quiet on the subject. If I start to mention a warning about driving they usually interrupt me and say, Yeah we know mom, don't speed, pay attention, don't drink and drive, and yes we will call when we get there.....

I don't apologize for worrying about my family. They may get really annoyed with me over some of my comments but I can only hope they know it is because I love them. I hope that my reminders help keep them safe some of the time, because the real fear here is that fate can always bite you in the butt at any time. No one plans to end up hurt or worse.

Even when they were still in grade school, they soon realized my personality just wouldn't let me worry in silence. Hence, they started even at that young age to interrupt my warnings with:

I can only hope they understand this compulsion when they have kids of their own.


neva said...

Compulsive doesn't begin to cover the safety issue though does it?? Great blog.. I love that we have the same stories and never talked about them(the lightning for example)!

Michal said...

You forgot my all time favorite worry on lightning:

-"Don't talk on the phone during a storm, lightning could strike the lines and electrocute you."

This was always followed by the classic "I know someone who died like that."

Also favorie Driving worry:

"Drive slow, there are lots of cops out there now."

This phrase was said to me before every road trip I ever made regardless of where I was going. The time of day,week, or year didn't matter. There are always lots of cops out there. Be careful.

Michal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MotherOf3Guys said...

I'm so glad you were paying attention, out for those cops!

Justin said...

I always get the classic, "don't drink Windex unless it's the organic kind"

Tom said...

While this site is entertaining and probably relates to stuff you've worried about before, I'd like to point you to:

episode 30, myth #2

...Though I don't think wireless phones apply.

Anonymous said...

What do they say about lightning and winning the lottery?

as far as I can remember, no child was struck by lighting while under my watch, all 14 years of baseball on the fields.

Now.. the no rough housing paid off, with all the visitors we had around here, no one broke an arm or was injured to the point their parents calling to ask what happened. As a matter of fact, the parents were glad their kids were here.

And I think our kids appreciated it.

Once said, All you need to get into the house is a smile.

All other points made by the blogger are valid for Parents who really care for people, not just their own, but all.

La Professora said...

Love it! I do the same to my 8 year old boy. I'm always telling him about kids who died in such-n-such freak accident so "you never know!" The first time he finished the "I know some kid who died like that..." I'll think of you. :)

Jersey Girl said...

Yo, Girlfriend!!

Thanks for the blog lesson. Couple of things I learned from your blog, besides what and how to blog...
3 boys and a husband, youngest son, ahh, what, 22 or 23? married times, is it 30 years, or close to it? a nurse for about the same number of years. And you're afraid to use the word "penis"? Do the boys still refer to "it" as their "private part" (actually, don't answer that)? Hopefully, they don't refer to it at all in your presence.

Well, after 15 years of trauma care, 9 in one of the busiest level one trauma centers in the country, I have a couple of stories I could add to the, "I know someone (? did know, or more like, "Johnny we hardly knew ya")who died doing that" blog. Hey, Lightning Happens! I've taken care of at least a dozen lightning strike patients (we were also the area's only burn center).

One of the most seemingly benign rough-housing stories I have heard actually turned into a 2 year plus recovery requiring multiple surgeries and a grueling rehab for this 21 year old college student (also delayed his graduation by a year)...buddy jumps on his back while the guy is walking down the stairs, caught offguard and blows out both knees, I'm talking bilateral ACL's, patellar tendons, PCL's (that's posterior cruciate ligaments), and all the cartilage in between. I could tell you much more gory stories, of death and paralyzation, but this one is really quite impressive.

OK, funny be careful story about driving...
I'm working as a Paramedic in NJ and get called to a 2 car MVA at about 3 am. Car number one, with the seemingly less drunk driver and passengers, were being closely followed by car number 2, the driver of #2 worried about their drunk friends making it home safely (they were following them to make sure they got home alright, how many of you have tried this at home?)...driver of car #1 passes out and drives a good 15 feet off road into a tree, driver of #2 followed them alright. They weren't hurt that bad and the cops and us were cracking up, we nearly pissed our pants.

Be careful out there...
Thanks for inviting me to blog...good job Tina.