When miracles happen, they usually come with a lot of emotions. They can also teach a lot of lessons. Here are four important life lessons I learned when my daughter fell out of a window.
In June, we went on our annual vacation to California with my husband’s family. We had a blast playing on the beach, going to Disneyland, and spending time with family. It was an amazing trip!
Then, on our second to last night, our daughter fell headfirst from a second-story window. And she was 100% fine.
I’ve thought about the what-ifs and the could-have-beens and the hows a million times in my head, and the only way I can even begin to comprehend why she was totally fine is that miracles happen.
The details are a little murky because she’s four and couldn’t tell us exactly what happened. But here’s the gist of what we understand.
The family was hanging out and chatting, spread out between a couple rooms and the outdoor courtyard that connects those rooms. I was in the courtyard area in front of the other room, when I heard my brother-in-law yell and looked to see what the commotion was.
I saw him under the window and wondered if something had fallen, when I saw him pick-up my daughter and it all hit me–yes, something fell out of the window. My daughter.
The window overlooked the courtyard, and we think our daughter was trying to say hi to the family out there when she fell.
After the Fall
I immediately rushed over and by the time I got there my husband was holding her. She was crying, but appeared to be okay.
We asked her where it hurt and took her inside to check for blood, possible broken bones, and signs of a concussion. She had none of the them, stopped crying pretty quickly, and seemed fine.
When we go on beach vacations, we bring a collapsible wagon with us so we can load all our gear in it to take down to the beach instead of lugging it all by hand. My husband left the wagon, placed at an odd angle, just below the window. She fell perfectly into the wagon.
Not only was the positioning amazing, but the wagon was jutting into the walkway into our room, and we had family going in and out of the room. Nobody moved it to the side and out of the way! Somehow, miraculously, it stayed in that perfect spot to catch her.
On top of that, my brother-in-law saw her fall. He said she went headfirst, then suddenly flipped around and landed bottom first into the wagon, with her legs curled up and her back and head up. She had no whiplash-type movement when she landed, like she should have landing at the speed. He said it looked almost like someone caught her, cradled her, and set her down.
Plus, even landing in the wagon–while still so much better than the concrete below–she still should have been hurt. But she wasn’t.
Miracle after miracle after miracle.
What I Learned from This Experience
The experience was pretty terrifying, but I also learned a lot from it. I’m always looking for the lesson. What do experiences, good or bad, teach me? How can I change because of them? How can they better me or my life?
This experience taught me four main lessons, and I didn’t have to really look for them. They just happened.
1. Talk to your kids about window safety.
Window safety has never been at the top of my radar when it comes to teaching my kids safety. I teach them so many safety skills–knives and scissors, hot objects like ovens and curling irons, crossing the street, tricky people, body awareness, water safety, what to do if there is a fire, and so much more. But windows are a lot easier to overlook and haven’t been something I’ve spent a lot of time teaching.
It only takes a few minutes to go over some basic window safety skills. Don’t open windows without an adult present–or ever. Never push or lean on windows, even if they’re closed or there is a screen. Don’t get up on chairs or stools near windows or to be as tall as a window.
2. Don’t live in fear.
After it happened, it took a good 4+ hours for my heart to stop beating super fast and to not be one second away from throwing up. And I didn’t sleep much that night. I just kept watching her breathe.
The next day, I was overly cautious. Like if she stood on a couch, I’d run over to protect her. At first, I wouldn’t let her out of my sight, even for a second. I was so worried and scared, even about things that I normally wouldn’t think twice about.
I started to notice that she was picking up on my fear. And I don’t want her to live in fear or be scared of every little thing. Of course I want to teach her safety, but I don’t want her to worry about everything that could possibly hurt her.
And if I live in fear for her, she’s going to pick up on that, internalize it, and live her life in fear. And I do not want that for her. So I’m trying to lean a little more on faith.
3. Let yourself feel your emotions.
After it happened, I bottled up my emotions. At first, I was just trying to be strong for her, so I held back my tears and never really let them out.
The next day I was in SO MUCH PAIN. Every inch of my body hurt so bad, and it didn’t go away for several days. It’s amazing how our whole body reacts to an experience that like!
I think part of me held back because I felt guilty for feeling any emotions because she was totally fine. I worried that feeling negative emotion took away from those who have had similar experiences that didn’t have the happy ending that mine did. And I don’t ever want to take away from anyone else’s experiences because I’m so blessed that my story ended the way that it did.
But I still did have emotions. I had fear and worry. The whole night I kept watching for signs of a concussion or waiting for something bad to happen. I couldn’t process or believe that she was fine, so I kept thinking that something had to be wrong and we just hadn’t caught it yet.
It took me a long time to let myself fully feel.
It’s okay to have emotions, to be worried or scared or unsure, to feel. It’s OKAY. We have to feel in order to cope and process situations and move on.
Ever since that moment, I’ve felt so much gratitude. Gratitude for this life and these beautiful kids I’m blessed with.
I just want to bottle it all up and hold it closer. I’m so thankful for my Heavenly Father and for the miracle He performed on our behalf. He’s given us so much, and I’m so grateful!
I don’t share this story to freak anyone out or to add yet another worry to parenting. Rather, I share it to let you know you’re not alone in your scary experiences as a mom. I share it to give you permission to feel your feelings. I share it because I know miracles happen, and I want to share that hope with others.
Do you believe miracles happen? Have you witnessed a miracle in your life?
If you liked this, check out these posts below:
- Finding Strength During Trials: What I Learned When My Son Stopped Breathing
- 6 Truths About Motherhood I Learned from Failing Potty Training
- How to Find Hope During Hard Times