My daughter suffered a concussion Sunday. She’s three. She was jumping in a trampoline. One she had happily jumped in several times before. She bounced backwards through the door of the protective netting and three feet down to the cement below. She landed flat on her back hitting the back of her head.
As my family was informing me of the signs of a concussion, she vomited in my lap. As we rushed her to the hospital, I had a hard time keeping her awake. Her speech was slurred, her eyes weren’t focusing and kept rolling to the back of her head. She snarled at me to leave her alone. I had to confront the deep seated fear of losing my daughter. I screamed for the umpteenth time, “Eyes open!” with tears rolling down my cheeks.
She is fine now. Definitely a concussion. But CT and x-rays show no signs of danger. She didn’t even have a headache the next day. I, on the other hand, have not quite recovered. I find myself watching her like a hawk. Telling her not to run, jump, or hop around (like she always has before) in fear she will hit her head again. Brain damage is no joke. The doctor said 3 days of calm activity- but will I relax after that?
I don’t feel guilty that she got hurt, but I never want to be that scared again. And, somehow, I know I will be. So where is the line? The line between protecting my daughter from herself and letting her be herself. It’s the difference between over protective and negligent- smothering her and letting her flourish. Where is the middle ground?
Have you ever grappled with this conundrum? It seems to me a problem that must be solved, yet has no solution.