Heart promises and when the adventure hat failed.
On the day my son was born, my heart promised to keep him safe.
And as he grew up, I did everything I could
I watched what he ate.
I taught him.
I put latches on cabinets
And made sure the handles on the pots were always facing in.
I watched him play. I watched what he watched.
I read to him. I talked to him. All the time.
And I told him that I loved him.
I kept him safe from strangers, from stray dogs, from wild animals.
I had him vaccinated, and he got regular check ups from his doctor and dentist.
And he got chewable vitamins.
He always rode in a child seat, and then a booster and then always wore his seat belt.
I kept him safe. We kept him safe.
Healthy, clean and warm. Adjusted, educated, encouraged and loved.
We watched what he read and what he saw and what he listened to…
And he graduated high school and went off to college.
Just like he was supposed to.
One day, a few years back
We were at REI and found a hat.
We bought the hat and liked it… and inside the sweat band it said “Adventure Hat”
And it promised to bring us an adventure whenever we took a trip, and wore that hat.
And we took it on adventures.
To the beach. To the mountains. To Yosemite.
But not enough adventures…
Because along the way, Ethan died.
And it wasn’t a stranger or a dog
Or a disease or an accident
Or drugs or war
It was something else…
Something inside of him… that my heart missed.
In all of its promise to keep him safe… it never looked inside
Or imagined that the hand that would take his life would be his own.
And the adventure hat failed
There would be no more adventures.