When any mom reviews her life, there are bound to be events that make her shake her head, kick herself, and lament, "If only there was a rewind button."

Parenting is such a challenge, because there is no manual.  It's all trial and error, hit or miss.  Mostly miss.  It's a wonder the human race survives at all.

You'd think by the time I had my third and final child, I'd be a bit more on the ball.  These two events make me cringe every time I think about them.

1.  My fifth grade son got glasses.  When we arrived home, he stepped out of the car and stared out over the neighborhood a long moment.  Then, in amazement, he said, "Mom....there are houses down the street."

I looked where he looked.  Of course there were houses.

Like a ton of bricks, it hit me.  Had this child not been seeing houses?  How poor was his eyesight that he didn't see a house?  Or two, or three.  Fifth grade was clearly too late to realize the child needed glasses. 

2.  Same child (poor kid.)  Senior year of college.  He hurt his ankle playing racquetball.  It was sore for a few days, then got better.  Then, got sore again.  Then, got better.  Sore, better.  Sore, better.  This went on for a year.  Finally, during a sore period, we went to the doctor, who ordered an MRI.  The child had a torn paroneal ligament and needed surgery.


This is a major tendon.  It looks like the only thing holding the foot to the leg.   I'm sure it's not, but it feels like that in my heart.

After surgery, the doc told me the tendon was shredded like a horse's tail.  He followed up with this: "It was the worst tear it could be and still be repairable."

I can't even put into words how terrible I felt.  Why had I not taken this child to the doc sooner?  Why, why, why?  Well, this child doesn't complain.  He was away at college and seemed fine.  Most of the time.  Oh, who knows.  I just didn't get it, didn't see it, didn't act. 

The doc did offer me this:  "Discomfort from this type of injury does come and go, so it's hard to diagnose at times."   That helped a bit.

No, it didn't, really.  I was the mom, I should take care of my children.  To this day, when I see my son's purple Frankenstein scar, I feel about two inches high.

This child, now a young man, doesn't hold his poor eyesight or injuries against me.  He's kind and forgiving and just chuckles when I relate these events to others. 

Here he is today, sighted and healed.  He now has a toe problem I had nothing to do with.


Cranberry Morning said...

lol. We've all been there. I know just how you feel. What a great photo of you and your son! loved that last line. lol

Faith, Friends & Flip Flops said...

We all feel that way at times...I just took my 17 year daughter to get some glasses....she had never really said anything...but when we went to get her drivers permit...she had a really hard time reading the lines!! I felt awful!! I mean how could I have not noticed! Since I have 4 kids...that would just be the tip of the iceberg...I would tell ya not to sweat it..but I know from experience that we will always sweat the stuff we somehow missed..

Emmy said...

My brother once broke his leg-- they were at a friends house all playing together in the basement while the parents were playing games upstairs. They were jumping off a freezer and some of the boys insisted on catching my brother and well- they caught him wrong.

He crawled up the stairs to tell my mom, she told he him he would be fine and sent him back down. The next day when he was still complaining she decided to take him in, turns out it was broken. So yep-- I think all moms have a time they wish they could rewind.

Renae at simple sequins said...

hey Mare! Long time, huh? I have been so up in the thrill of expansion and focus on my thrift fashion side of my blog that I have been missing my 'daily-lifers'. Let us still keep in touch, please. Don't feel bad about the not realizing. My brother passed away right under my nose and that was a doozie to get into perspective. God doesn't expect us to beat ourselves up. He expects us to learn and go forward. (hug)

Juli said...

When I was around 12, I tripped over the dog and my foot slid under the wheel of the car (we were in the garage) when I fell, it twisted my ankle. I got up, hobbled upstairs, Mom iced it but I never cried and it never swelled up.

Two days later my dad brought me to the ER since I couldn't walk on it still. It was broken. The story sounded so crazy the docs asked over and over to ensure that my mother (who had not come in with me) had not broken my ankle.

It was after all, mother's day. :)

She still feels guilty.

Michael Ann said...

Loved this! I think guilt is a mother's middle name. This post choked me up.... Just filled me love for my own sons and made me feel a bond with you and all moms!

Karen Lange said...

Have had similar adventures with our three kids. I don't think it makes you a bad mom, just a real one. :)

My mom used to call me the practice child, as I am the oldest of my three sisters. So of course, I told that to my oldest, a son. But I think you're right, they're all practice kids, and now we have plenty of practice for grandkids! :)

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yeah many of us parents have moments like those in our lives, looking back we think how did we not notice that but sometimes at the time we just don't and we can't go back and change things we can only do better in the future......although my eldest still reminds me of the time I sent her to school so sick she throw up and had to be picked up by her pop as the school couldn't reach me........no mobiles back then......

bethlapinsatozblog said...

I hope I'll see you on the A to Z challenge again. This year, I'm focusing on Animal Spirit Guides for a Good Life. Please check out my postings: http://bethlapinsatozblog.wordpress.com/

Mis Anthropy said...

You've won an award. Stop by and pick it up.

Cindy Dwyer said...

Someone once told me that the sign of being a good mother is worrying that you messed up, because bad mothers never think that. Hope there's some comfort in those words for you!

If not, know this. I walked around on a broken foot for 18 months before it was diagnosed and by then the surgery was much more extensive and I didn't drive for two months verses maybe a week had it been diagnosed correctly initially.

Sharon said...

As a Mom I wholeheartedly relate! It's a good thing that most of our kids don't hold too much against us! :) Your son looks happy and well-adjusted!

Danelle M said...

I think we all wish we could rewind sometimes. The great thing is, the kids seem to turn out pretty great in spite of those days...which means we must be something right most of the time! :)

in the coop said...

Ha! I found out about my oldest's bad eyesight after he was tested at school. A letter was sent home with him, saying he needed to be checked by a doctor. I ignored the paper! Surely, I would know if he needed glasses. Three months later, I got another letter by the Health Dept, wanting to know the results. I finally made an appointment. Yeah, he needed glasses. In the car on the way home, I did a test with him. "Can you read that?" sort of thing. He couldn't see anything with his left eye.
Instead of rewinds, we got the wonderful love and forgiveness children give wholeheartedly. Good thing. :)