Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hold My Hand

Yesterday a 16 month old boy in my building was accidentally run over and killed by his father in our parking garage. When I found out I felt physically ill and so, so sad.

Yesterday morning they woke up their own Chamudi and kissed him and gave him breakfast. This morning there's nothing but sadness and emptiness and, I have to imagine, crushing guilt. How do you go on after you have accidentally killed your only child? I honestly don't think that I could.

When I heard the news I quietly said Baruch Dayan Emet. But then I protested out loud at my own piety--NO! This isn't just! This is a beautiful child cut off in his prime by the hand of his loving parents. This is God's absence from the world.

When Chamudi woke up from his nap I picked him up and squeezed him so tight and made all sorts of promises that I can't possibly keep, about protecting him forever and always keeping him safe and never letting anything bad happen to him. And then I lugged my 26 -pound toddler around town in our Ergo--instead of the stroller--just so that I could enjoy and appreciate and love him as much as humanly possible.

After the depth of the tragedy sunk in, my next thought was--My God--I always let Chamudi walk without me in our parking garage. It's pretty small, and there are not too many cars coming in and out during the day, and supose that I try to keep him at an arms length. But he's a toddler, and toddlers wander off, and run away, and have no sense of danger.

And I realize now that I've been taking an unacceptable risk. That he must always hold my hand in the garage--and if he refuses, be carried. He may be standing on his own two feet, but he still desperately needs me to guard him against all the possible tragedies of the world.

So Chamudi, stop running. Hold my hand. And please, please, don't ever let go.


Phyllis Sommer said...

this is so heartbreaking. what a terrible lesson for us all to learn, in a terrible way. may his memory be for a blessing.

Gluckel of Manhattan said...

what a senseless tragedy. Thank you for sharing...may we each absorb a little bit of their grief and hold our kids' hands tighter.

mamalady said...

how horrific. everytime I hear such a story my mind races into a hundred terrifying scenarios and all the ways in which we can't possibly childproof the world.