- I wash my Pampered Chef Stoneware with soap and water.
- I put my good knives in the dishwasher.
- I put my workout clothes and my swimming suits in the dryer.
- I keep my hot water heater temperature set really high.
- I use bleach in my laundry.
- I wear my running shoes till they wear out.
- I let my children watch Spongebob Squarepants.
- I don't get gas until the gas indicator light comes on.
And on and on it goes. You can see that I don't really live on the edge if those are my risky behaviors, as most of these things are fairly low on the risk scale in terms of actually harming someone. I've never tasted soap when I make brownies. I used to work in a restaurant and the good knives went in the dishwasher with no ill effects. I've had most of my running clothes and my swimming suits for years and years and they seem just fine. I survived hours and hours of Bugs Bunny and Gilligan's Island as a child with no noticeable effects. I've only run out of gas twice in my whole life.
But, as Dr. Phil always says, if you continue to engage in risky behavior, something bad will happen to you. So in general, I'm a rule follower. But in some ways, I reflect the generation I came from, when there were less rules and safety habits than there are today. Today something bad did happen, and I can't sweep it under the rug or lie about it, so I'm just going to get it out there and be done with it. This one is serious. I wish it were funny, but it's not.
I sometimes let Evan (and all the kids) practice starting the car. I did it when I was a kid. My youngest has done it many times with absolute success and no problems whatsoever. Until today. This morning, he finally had trouble with the process and ran the car into the garage door. Smash. Full on. Fortunately, the only casualties are the garage door and a very upset kid. No injuries, no damage to the car aside from a little paint. And, oh yeah, my confidence as a mother. I feel like such a stupid, stupid person for creating the conditions for him to have this bad experience. I'm ashamed. But it will be worse if I try to yammer and stammer some other story when it comes up in conversation that we're getting a new garage door or why there is paint all over my bumper. So here it is. The stupidest thing I do came around and put me in my place. I put my child at risk. I went against my prime directive. Now I have to try and be grateful that everything is really okay and move on. We actually needed a new garage door. Someday this will be part of the family lore, and his brothers are going to laugh as soon as they hear about it. But first I'm going to go cry under my covers.