Accidents Happen (Don’t Beat Yourself Up, You Aren’t a Bad Parent)

Every parent dreads that inevitable moment when their child suffers a serious injury. A pediatrician friend of mine once reminded me that “God made kids really resilient,” but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier on their parents.

Today, Trey had a terrible accident – he was playing with bungee cords he had tied to a tree. He was stretching one when it slipped from his hands and the cord hit him directly in the eye and with great force. It left him screaming in pain and caused serious trauma to his right eye.

Where was I when this happened? 4 feet away, around the corner, under my house trying to fix a busted pipe that had been spraying boiling water from our water heater.

The optometrist diagnosed him with traumatic iritis (inflammation of the iris or colored part of the eye) with hyphema. Basically his eyeball took a serious blow, the epithelium (outer layer) was ripped off, and the internal chambers of his eye have filled with blood. Tomorrow we go to an ophthalmologist for a more in-depth examination.

It’s very tempting to beat myself up over this. Why wasn’t I watching him? Why did I let him play with the bungee cords? But I’ve actually been waiting for this moment. In fact, I was convinced it would happen on our road trip out west (remember my road trip accident in 2004?). At age 4, I broke my arm and wore a sling for months. At age 2, Heidi drank cleaning solution and then drove her parents’ car into the road while her mom was on the phone with Poison Control.

Accidents happen and we can thank God that He has foreseen them all and made kids so resilient. We can also find reassurance that He has also foreseen a way for us to get through them and the trauma & drama that they cause. Thanks God!

4 thoughts on “Accidents Happen (Don’t Beat Yourself Up, You Aren’t a Bad Parent)

  1. Alan

    As you discussed during your phone call to me. Trey had an accident.

    Yes, You, Your Son and even Heidi are in my Prayers.

    Accidents even happen to big people.

    Where are our Supervisors?

    Thanks for your Candor regarding this issue.

    Warm regards,


  2. Nana

    It never occurred to me that you were failing as a Dad. You had your hands full. Parenting often involves challenges beyond our reach – get ready for much more to come.
    But I know how you feel – kind of like I felt this summer when Ollie got hurt under my watch. You just want to do it all over for a different outcome.
    Many people are praying for Trey’s healing. In the meantime, he has learned a lesson about bungee cords that will stick with him. We all learn more by our mistakes than by mere instruction.

  3. auntie annie

    i am so sorry that trey got hurt, but thankful to hear that it is something that will heal all up!! that sounds really painful, though. it is a nerve-racking thing – being parents to these kids and all the things that could go wrong! it seems like ollie has a new injury everyday, and if he makes it to pre-school with no brain damage, it will be a miracle! but like you said, God made them very resilient for a reason!! glad he is doing better. much love!

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