OK, so much has been said about Nationwide’s “dead kid” Superbowl ad, in which a kid recounts all the things he’ll never get to do – because he died in a household accident. The controversial ad was meant to stir up conversation and make people think about kid-proofing their home. Mission accomplished.
But for those of us who’ve suffered the trauma of losing a pregnancy or child, I’d argue that this ad was in extremely poor taste. Since holding my miscarried baby in my arms, the death of little ones is too often at the forefront of my mind. Everywhere I go I see danger. Sometimes I even get a touch of agoraphobia and feel safe only inside my home. Maybe, I think, we shouldn’t ever leave…
And then I think about the TV falling, or the bookcase. I think about electrical outlets and dangling cords and loose wires. I think about the bathtub and the toilet and the stairs and the million other ways my child could die in my own home, even though I’ve done what I can to protect against it.
I wish I could be one of those moms who say, “Whatever, our parents didn’t worry about all this stuff when we were young and we all turned out fine.” My response to that is usually, “Uh yeah, except for those of us that didn’t.” But then again, I’m a super worrier.
I do long for those days when we didn’t worry so much – but the problem with those days is that there were more deaths from preventable accidents than there are now. So I suppose I should be glad we live in a world where we try to be super-vigilant about danger. But I’m already hyper-sensitive to it – I don’t need a Superbowl ad to remind me.
As soon as it aired, I caught my breath as if I’d been sucker-punched. All of a sudden I was back in that hospital room with Samantha, holding her tiny body. Then I was back to the present, with an overwhelming sense of panic that something would happen to LM.
I literally had nightmares that night – children being murdered, blood splattering everywhere. I woke up completely freaked out about what my warped mind had come up with, but I know that it was a reaction to that damn ad.
Losing your child is every parent’s worst nightmare. LM is all I have. Not that one child can ever replace another, but I don’t have the ability to easily have another. Having him was a hard-won battle for me. It makes the idea of losing him all the worse – especially if it were my fault because I didn’t anchor the TV to the wall.
My husband says he tries not to think about it. But I can’t help it. I feel like no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try to guard against something happening to him, one day he’s going to go off into the world and I won’t be there to protect him.
In the meantime I guess I’ll be getting some furniture tethers.
Did you hate that Nationwide ad, or did you think it was a good reminder about child safety? Are you hyper-sensitive to danger, too?
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