I willingly have my grandchildren to stay every week, I love having, love doing things with them, and most of all love the love that I get back from their hugs, their cuddles, their snotty kisses and the little things they say and do.
But for any parent handing over to any grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, etc that you entrust to look after the most precious thing you have in your life you are also handing over a huge amount of trust, responsibility and accountability that you will get your precious children back in the same way as you hand them over, alive safe and well.
How my heart went out this week to the whole family of the 6 yr old boy killed at Seton Sands whilst on holiday with his grandmother. I have to wonder how do you come to terms with that? How must that poor grandmother feel, that for a split second you take your eye off the child and that was the outcome? How do the parents feel? The amount of "what ifs" and" if onlys" going through their heads, their discussions, their anguish.
I would never forgive myself, and I doubt she will either. Would the parents ever forgive you? would it tear a family apart? I know it was a genuine accident but such is the responsibilty that is handed over with your child.
But do we not all take that risk when you take a friends child to playgroup for her, or pick your neighbours child up from school?
I as a mother only ever handed daughter No2 to one outside person to look after, I would not have given anybody else the huge task of looking after her, she took anything up to 25 epileptic fits a day, as well as having idiopathic apnoea, where she would stop breathing for no apparent reason, day or night, awake or asleep. You could not take your eyes off her for more than a second. How would I have felt had a neighbour had her and something happened.? I would never know had I been there whether I could have done something, it was also unfair to expect others to shoulder that sort of issue.
But my grandson is in a similar position, he has the food allergies that can literally kill him at any time, he has been brought back more than once in the back of an ambulance, and I have also unwittingly fed him something many years ago that caused this to happen about 6 hrs after I fed him. He has also started taking idiopathic anaphylaxis especially in an evening and over night when he is asleep.
My daughter still trusts me with him,( I never left my daughter with my mother), and hands him over with his sister every week. I take them out in a car, I drive them around, I take them to parks, down the beach, we cross roads, and this week it has really brought home to me how easy it is for it to end in tragedy.
Don't get me wrong my own children had accidents in the park, one knocked down by a car, have had broken bones and split heads, concussion and who all knows what. The staff in our A&E knew me by name we were in and out that often. But they were my children, they had accidents, and it was never anybodys' fault but they were with me, or out on their own, or in the care of the school.
Really does make you stop and think. How would I cope if something happened to either of these precious little bundles?
Cant even bear to think about it.