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.
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:
Yeah, mom: "I KNOW SOMEBODY WHO DIED LIKE THAT!"
I can only hope they understand this compulsion when they have kids of their own.