So, all you young parents, the reason your own parents don’t think you are capable of successfully raising a child is they know from experience that if you let your guard down for a second, stuff happens. They fear you may not be competent, because they probably know the fact that you are alive to be a parent at all is a matter of their own dumb luck.Dumb Luck must be my secret middle name. Many miracles have occurred and my children should be far more thankful to a higher power than I suspect they are.
For example (and I may have shared this story before):
My son was about a year old -- still in diapers, walking, but not totally verbal. We were visiting my first husband's parents who lived in an upstairs apartment of an older house. I had cooked a big breakfast of bacon and eggs. My mother in law went to work and the rest of us went into the living room to watch morning news and drink the second cups of coffee. At some point I went back into the kitchen and discovered it filling with smoke. Apparently I had not turned off the gas burner completely (I'd only ever used an electric stove before) and the frying pan was aflame.
My father in law's impulse was to grab the flaming pan and run through the kitchen and a hallway and then down a flight of stairs. Fortunately my husband stopped him and clamped a lid on the pan to extinguish the fire. My FIL turned his efforts to throwing open all the windows. It was in the spring and he had taken off all the storm windows but had not put up all the screens.
The phone rang.
It was the nurse who cared for the women across the street. She was wheeling her patient out onto their sun porch when she noticed something concerning. "Do yo know that there is a baby running around on your porch roof?" she asked my father in law. He started screaming. Maybe continued screaming, it was a long time ago.
My husband very calmly went to the dining room window and said, "Hey, Kevin, come here." And Kevin did and we closed the windows.
Three miracles that day alone -- the house didn't burn down, my father in law did not die of a heart attack (although he did pour himself an after-breakfast drink), and my son did not run off the edge of a roof.
I have sometimes wondered why it is that we seem to have a tendency to move onto new relationships and yet still end up with the same personality in the new person. Ability to stay calm, think clearly, and solve a problem -- probably more than a good thing I gravitate towards those qualities in significant others.