My cousin, Frances, died yesterday (she’s in the plaid shirt in the picture below).
There’s a story that I always remember about Frances — because it’s one of the earliest times I didn’t think something through in a situation that could have put someone else in danger.
Frances and her husband had adopted a son, Robbie. We were all delighted.
My parents and I were visiting — I don’t recall how old I was, but Robbie was maybe around 11 months old (?). Maybe somewhere between 11 months and 15 months. I was in the living room interacting with him (he was in a playpen). I was holding a piece of ham and he indicated he wanted it.
Without really processing whether he was capable of digesting ham, I gave it to him and he started choking on it. All the adults came out and Frances asked, “Who gave him the ham?” I eventually fessed up — he was OK but I was crushed. Frances had always been my very cool cousin. She had excellent taste in clothing and home decor. Her approach to life was sort of a Nordstrom in a Pic-n-Save world (Pic-n-Save was a big part of my childhood — think “Kmart” if that doesn’t conjure up any images for you).
As I’ve been thinking about writing this post all day, I was mentally playing with the lead line of, “Here’s yet another post that will make people ask, ‘YOU have a degree in child development?!'”
I’m not sure why I assumed an INFANT knew what he was capable of. And I’m not sure why I didn’t ask permission from his mother to feed him.
I’m glad he survived into adulthood.
And I’m extremely sorry we have lost his mom. She was deeply loved, and she was an incredible support to my mom for many years — I know they treasured their time together.
Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)