Brad Pitt showed up at the Palm Springs International Film Festival this weekend sporting a cane. It’s not his idea of a fashion statement. The actor injured himself when he fell while carrying one of his daughters.
What a great dad, right?
This story hit close to home for me because my husband once did something similar for one of our babies. He was walking on a slippery path with her in his arms when he lost his footing on a rock. Rather than drop the baby, he was able to turn his body in a split second and land under her.
Our daughter slept through the whole incident. My husband dislocated his shoulder and wound up needing surgery.
Parenting heroism isn’t rare. For all that we’re told to fasten our own oxygen masks first in case of an emergency, most of us throw our own safety away if it’s a choice between us or our kids.
My colleague Amber shared a story of the time she slipped on icy stairs while carrying her 1-year-old. She sprained her ankle and bruised her tailbone, but spared her kid even the smallest scrape. Carolyn once fell on both elbows while carrying her daughter, and was happy to take the bumps as long as her kid was OK. Joslyn’s husband risked his life on a shaky ladder to climb in a second-story window and rescue their toddler from a locked bathroom.
We do crazy things for our kids. It’s part of being a mom or dad.
It’s tempting to get all ev-psych about it and think we’re programmed to put our children first. Preservation of the species and all that.
I think there’s more to it than that; or less depending on how you look at it. I think we put our kids’ safety ahead of our own because we love so much. We love them intuitively, with our whole selves, without thinking about it. We move to help them first, and only think about what we’re doing later.
It’s just love.
Have you ever done something crazy to protect your kids? Tell us about it in the comments.
Photo: Jacob Davies