Parenting Perspectives: An itchy trigger fingerHow many times in the course of our daily lives do we wish we could hit the rewind button to avoid hurtful words said in anger or handle a situation differently?
By: Kathy Tofflemire, INFORUM
How many times in the course of our daily lives do we wish we could hit the rewind button to avoid hurtful words said in anger or handle a situation differently?
I’d like a do-over for a Friday afternoon from a couple of weeks ago when I stopped at my daughter’s place of business before heading to work.
During my visit, we twice heard sirens on the busy street nearby.
Just as I was about to leave, my younger grandson’s day care provider called to inquire if he was with my daughter as several minutes had passed since he and another little boy should have gotten off the school bus and arrived at their destination.
Suspecting the two might be playing in a snowbank or engaging in some similar activity, I was commissioned to go look for them. As I backed out of the parking spot, I saw flashing lights down the street and immediately had a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. When I pulled onto the street, I saw the police barricade and a stopped school bus.
And here’s where I made my mistake. As I maneuvered around the block to get to the scene, I grabbed my cell phone and called my daughter to tell her that I feared the sirens we had heard were related to the school bus.
Looking back, I wish I had not had access to that modern technology. If not, I would have arrived at the bus and found out that my grandson was not involved in the accident in which a younger child was struck by a car after exiting the bus.
I know my daughter, and I know from experience that she can go from calm to hysterical in a nanosecond if there is a threat to the welfare of her sons.
As soon as a firefighter advised me that my grandson was still on the bus, I went again to my phone to call my daughter, but I got no answer. By then I could see her running headlong toward the scene.
I hastened to reassure her, immediately angry with myself for nearly scaring her to death. A few more minutes would have allowed me to call and calmly explain why her son was not at day care.
But I couldn’t take it back. I could only hold her as she cried tears of relief.
When I arrived on the scene, I was aware of the media’s presence, including a Forum photographer and reporter.
I’ve been in the news business for more than 40 years. I know that the best visuals are the documenting of emotion.
Since the ambulance was long gone, the only drama at the scene was us.
Not only had I needlessly frightened my daughter but we were about to make an appearance on the evening news.
I am thankful my grandson was not hurt and that the little boy who was injured is recovering.
My daughter used the incident as a lesson for her boys on traffic safety.
And Grandma’s lesson: Refrain from hitting the panic button.
Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5514