Motherhood: Learning Forgiveness in the Wake of an Accident

Welcome to Moms’ Month on Dr. Stephanie! This month I will be featuring guest posts from some awesome moms around the country.  They will be sharing tips, tricks, and funny stories about motherhood.  This will be a fun celebration – thanks for joining us!  Today’s author is Adrienne Gumersell.  Welcome, Adrienne!

My name is Adrienne Gumersell and I am a 33 year old mom of 3, trying to juggle the demands of my kids, while starting a new catering business, and a new blog.

People always ask me- which is harder, having a daughter or having a son?  I used to tell them- it’s just different.  Girls are head games, and boys are head injuries.  It’s just a matter of what you can tolerate better.  I thought I was pretty clever.
I stopped using this expression after my son fell out of a second story window and almost died.  After being flown by medivac to the hospital, he had to have emergency brain surgery, and was in an induced coma for over a week.  After a month in the hospital, we came home.  Today (after months of therapy and more than a year later) he is a fully functioning, healthy little boy.  There is no other way to describe him than- MIRACLE.
I felt guilty, thinking I brought this on myself by using the comparison between boys and girls.  I had only been considering bumps and bruises!  Never did I think that something like this could happen.  Who does?
I felt guilty, thinking I should have done something different.  But the bottom line is, it was an accident.
My kids were playing in our spare room, the window was closed and locked.
What stopped my guilt in it’s tracks was hearing my 5 year old daughter say it was “all my fault, Mommy! I’m the one who opened the window!”
It broke my heart. Because of course it was not her fault.
It was an accident.
And I decided to give myself the same grace.
My children have taught me many things, not the least of which is forgiveness– of others and of self.

The statistics on window related injuries are startling.  The American Academy of Pediatrics did a study from 1990-2008 and found that an average of over 5100 children a year are injured in such accidents.

Let’s all be more aware of window safety.  One life lost to this completely preventable problem is too many.  In fact, as part of the conclusion of the AAP’s study, they stated:

These injuries are an important pediatric public health problem, and increased prevention efforts are needed, including development and evaluation of innovative prevention programs.

Here is a comprehensive Window Safety Checklist, published by the National Safety Council.

One thought on “Motherhood: Learning Forgiveness in the Wake of an Accident

  1. Karyn says:

    Thanks for this warning. This alerted me to the fact that we have an unsafe window in our house. I am going to look into fixing that right now!

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