When crappy things happen (oh, you know, like miscarriages, failed IVF cycles…those kind of things), I often wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?!" It was a hypothetical question, not one I ever asked aloud expecting any kind of logical answer.

My daughter had her four-year vaccinations a couple of weeks ago. Five vaccinations, in fact. Five syringes, five needles, and five brightly colored band-aids and a nurse who delivered all within five seconds. I was instructed to hold her hands down, but I knew if I had she would have panicked before the first injection was done, so I just rested my hand on her chest and leaned over her, filling her line of vision. It wasn’t until sometime between shot number two and three that she started to cry, the initial surprise of what was happening was washed away by the pain.

She looked up at me, her eyes glassy with tears that had not even had time to spill, and cried out, "What did I do wrong, Mama?!"

My throat tightened up, tears came to my own eyes and I used the palm of my hands to sweep away the tears off her face, brushing her fine, blond hair off her now hot and sticky skin. "Oh, baby. You did nothing wrong." How could I possibly reason with a four year old on the very day of her birthday, that I was doing this for her own good?

This weekend Aitch had a sudden case of the stomach flu and started throwing up violently and without warning. As she sat there with it down her shirt, in her hair, on her legs while I tried to contain it before moving her to the bathroom, she wailed again, "What did I do *dry heave* wrong, Mama? *dry-heave* What did I do?!"

Bad things happen to people who don’t deserve it, and most of the time there’s no answer to why. In Aitch’s case, if she was older she would understand the logic and science behind the vaccinations and a stomach virus, but by then other bad things will likely happen. The question will remain the same, but I still won’t have an answer.

8 thoughts on “Why.”

  1. That IS awful!! We went through old fashioned allergy (scratch and sub-q) testing when Kelsey was 3 or so, after months and months of endless ear infections. It was THE.WORST.MOMENT of parenthood for me. First set of scratches were ok – not good – but ok. Beyond that, she was SOBBING, they had me holding her down….I felt like the worst mother on the planet. Only to find out that aside from mold, she had no actual reactions to…well…anything. Bleh. Nothing like completely unnecessary trauma.

  2. This post breaks my heart on all sorts of levels and makes me cry. It’s hard to accept that painful things happen. For good reasons. For bad reasons. For no reason.

  3. Oh, poor Aitch! A didn’t get all those shots until his 5 year apt, but he was crying his eyes out by the fifth one, I was crying, and Timmy was too. Definitely the worst of our pedi appointments. I hope that you can convince her that it wasn’t anything she did. đŸ˜¦

  4. Gee and I thought my husband broke his wrist yesterday due to some massive karma payback. And the whole shattered, plates, surgery tomorrow nature of it was due to me stomping on him when he was down.
    No? Well, there goes that guilt trip.

  5. Oh, ouch. Poor Aitch. We are inveterate blamers in my family, so we don’t do a whole lot of “what did I do?” because we prefer “why is this happening to me?”

  6. I wonder why some people take life’s misfortunes personally and others don’t. It would never occur to me to think that sometime bad happened to me because of something I did. Sometimes bad things just happen. Bad things happen to everybody. Almost nothing that befalls one, good or bad, is unique. I guess I can see why people try to find a reason, but it’s nothing I can relate to. It’s interesting she’s interested your worldview that way. My mom is like that and I’m not. I wonder if it’s inborn? I hope she feels better soon!

  7. I’m pretty sure my heart just broke into a million pieces just reading that. Kids definitely take those things in and try to explain them through something they did. Aiden was just sick on Saturday and he kept saying “it was because I ate too much bread” (which it was not!) and I had to reassure him that he had done nothing to cause it. His sister was sick the next day and I think that was the point he believed me but it was so hard trying to convince him when he had his head in the toilet.

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