By Eric Hodgdon

The other evening at my hotel, I was waiting for a work colleague to join me for dinner. While standing in the lobby I noticed a woman carrying a small child and moving quickly towards the lobby seating area. The woman’s leg was bleeding, and she was wrapped in a towel from the waist down. She seemed much more concerned for the child than for her injury.

She was with an older woman and a boy as well. It didn’t take long to see that this was a family and the concern was on the small girl in the woman’s arms. No one was approaching the woman to help. She wasn’t really drawing attention to herself either. I approached her and asked her if everything was ok. She said no, that she had fallen by the pool with her daughter in her arms and her daughter’s head hit the concrete. The hotel staff already called 911, and gave the woman a ice pack. But it wasn’t cold enough. She was a nurse and knew her daughter was not doing well. Her eyes were dilated and she had a lump on the back of her head. Adding to that the child had a speech deficiency and couldn’t articulate how she was feeling to her mother. Mom was starting to become frantic.

I hurried to the bar and asked for ice and quickly returned to the mother with a small bag full. The mother was replaying the previous events by the pool and began blaming herself because she didn’t prevent her child from falling to the ground. Sensing her distress, I asked if she could have avoided the incident. She said, “no.” I suggested to her that she go easy on herself and to remain calm for her daughter. She agreed and I stayed with family until the ambulance arrived.

Before leaving, the older woman thanked me for assisting her daughter and granddaughter. I told her I was glad to help.

For parents, the worst is when our children are in pain. Our natural reaction is to want to take it away, but sometimes, we just don’t know how. But as parents, we do the best we can for our children. While we can’t always protect our kids from adversity, and we’re certainly not perfect, we can be resilient. When it comes to our kids, remaining calm and collected is the best way to approach any challenging situation, especially when it comes to our kids. Your personal “coolness” gives them the confidence that you’ve “got this” and that they’re in great hands.

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