Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Parental Aftershocks

So we just had our second earthquake in three days here in Southern California. Being raised in Los Angeles, I usually find it amusing hearing earthquake virgins describe their Armageddon experience, but a conversation with a co-worker made me think about how as Young Dad, these past earthquakes were something new for me.

She was explaining her traumatic experience and how she ran to her daughter's room and forced her to stand under a door way even when the shaking had stopped. At first I found it funny, but then it made me remember Bishop and Charlee and how this was the first time I experienced an earthquake as a father of two. My wife and I were in the kitchen and right after the house stopped shaking, I immediately ran to the bedrooms. Bishop was in the far room and Charlee was in our room. For some reason I ran past Charlee and went straight for Bishop's where I saw him still asleep. My wife behind me checked on Charlee and said that she also hadn't woken up. Once everything settled, I was relieved but also felt a tinge of guilt by not going to see Charlee first. Shouldn’t I have been more worried about her since she’s a girl and also an infant? Do female children have priority in these emergency circumstances? Does age matter? Of course at the age of two, I don’t know if Bishop would’ve been better off, but as a father of two, how do I decide between my children?

Whether it’s reacting to an emergency situation or deciding which child gets to sit in the front seat of a car, what do we do as parents when we have to choose?

Hospitals should give out equations that will tell us in a certain situation, which child deserves to be chosen. But since they don’t, we parents are left to assess a situation quickly and make a decision. This earthquake made me realize that we can't treat both children completely the same and at some point, we are going to have to choose. We probably aren’t going to be able to please our children with every decision, but I guess all I can hang my hat on is that sooner or later they’ll either forgive or forget.

Earthquakes come and go, but the aftershocks keep coming.

Sorry Charlee!

Until Next time...

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