My Moral Conscience Won’t Let It Go

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Something happened last weekend that I’ve been wanting to write about, but I know that no matter how I tell the tale, I’m not going to come out of it looking like a good parent; especially since in the middle of it, I found humor in my son’s predicament.

So here goes:

MLI has been wanting to play golf with me, but he’s too young to play actual golf. So I took him to the PGA Superstore (LOVE that place!) and bought him a little driver for kids. On Sunday, I took him to the driving range with me and we hit a few balls. I didn’t want to do too much “teaching” the first time out, so I pretty much just let him sit there and hit the balls however he saw fit.

That done, we opted to go next door and play some mini-golf. This place has seen better days. Half of the astro-turf is threadbare and it’s lined with bricks rather than actual cement, but it’s cheap and MLE was more interested in looking at the large plaster animal characters than he was actually playing mini-golf.

As we neared the end, I explained to him that once we hit our balls in the last hole, they were going to disappear down a tunnel and our game would be over. This worried him, so I looked around to see if I could find where they collect the balls and sure enough, I found a wooden hatch about ten feet away. I walked over and opened it up and found several balls floating in about six inches of water. The hole was about 3′ deep and 2.5′ x 2.5′ wide and the water was pretty nasty. I called MLE over to show him where the balls went once they went in the hole and he was excited to see his ball floating there.

But his attention quickly turned and he got up and went over to play on the alligator statue while I watched several large koi swimming in a small pool overlooked by a waterfall with a giant gorilla on top. The next thing I heard was a shrill scream. I turned around and didn’t see MLE anywhere.

Suddenly it hit me…he’d opened the hatch and fallen into the ball collector hole. I ran over and opened the hatch and pulled MLE out screaming and crying. Other than a pretty good scratch on his arm and being pretty soaking wet, I think he was more scared than hurt. But as I’m standing there holding him and trying to calm him down, every news story and movie I’ve ever seen or read where someone fell in a well, flashed through my mind.

I thought about tiny Jessica McClure who fell in that well in ’87

I thought about all the miners who have lost their lives deep underground

I thought about Lassie and Little Timmie

…and in the middle of all that, I suddenly found myself trying not to laugh at the situation MLE had gotten into. He had been curious and look where it got him. I wasn’t laughing at his fear, I was laughing at the absurdity of it all and in the fact that, despite how scared he was, he was fine–and wet!

But looking back, I know that it could have been worse. What if that hole had been deeper? What if he had fallen in and really hurt himself? The “what if’s” can drive you crazy. This could have been one of those sad stories you see on the news where something terrible happened to a child and the parents are suddenly up on charges of neglect or endangerment.

When we got home, there was no hiding from CareerMom that something happened, but I’ll be danged if I was going to tell her the truth. She thinks he just fell in the koi pond while swinging on the rope, after I had told him not to of course.

I know…I’m horrible and I’m probably going to hell for blaming this completely on my son. In my heart I accept a certain amount of blame, but I also know that no good could come of telling the truth.

Sometimes a little lie doesn’t hurt anyone.

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4 thoughts on “My Moral Conscience Won’t Let It Go

    Callaway said:
    April 17, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Glad to hear of someone else who loves the PGA super store as much as me. Thanks for the story.

    Re: I DO love it, but it’s best when you can go with a pocket-full of cash; something I rarely have handily available!

    Allison said:
    April 19, 2008 at 7:23 am

    They are a constant danger to themselves (and often others), aren’t they? I feel like we are protecting our imp from sure and certain death 24 hours a day (often in the form of annoying nags and commands). I often wonder how any of the kids from my social work past with horrible parents made it through alive….amazing resilience most of the time.

    Oh, and lies are absolutely necessary sometime. You’re protecting others from unnecessarily (I think) worrying about the safety of children in your care 🙂

    Re: Yup, they are! I just hope this hasn’t scarred him so much that he never wants to go play golf again. I can hear him telling his friends when he’s 30, “Nope, I’ll never play golf again. One time, I went with my dad when I was four…”

    AtHomeDaddy said:
    April 19, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Yep, what the wife don’t know CAN hurt you!

    Re: Totally!

    birdpress said:
    April 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    If you manipulate it correctly, I bet you could actually make the kid remember falling into the koi pond too. They are so impressionable at that age…

    Re: HA HA HA! You are a sick and twisted woman…and I like how you think!
    And you’re right though. The couple of times he’s mentioned it, “Daddy, do you remember that time when we played golf and I fell in the hole…” and I say, “Yep, I remember when you fell in the water…”
    See, I’m already slowing moving his memory in the right direction.

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