My Kid Fell Out Of A Second-Story Window, And It Taught Me A Valuable Lesson About Life

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“Three years ago, I had a son. And life was never the same.

Of course, it changed my life in all the ways you might expect, like getting used to wearing yogurt on all of my clothes for at least a few years, or yelling ‘indoor voice’ repeatedly at the top of my lungs, which I’m sure is not where he learned it.

But there was more. A part nobody could have properly warned me about, or at least it wouldn’t have made sense to me at the time anyway.

blonde, toddler boy eating a slice watermelon with a big smile on his face
Courtesy of Clare Johnson

Here’s the thing, I now, and probably will forevermore, live all of my waking days on this razor-thin edge of awareness that at any moment I could be falling—either face first into total life-altering tragedy or complete and unfathomable love.

Both are possible. They are both there, real possibilities in any instant. I could just fall – either way.

I am usually working hard to keep it all in balance—like, ‘Don’t run in the street!’—nothing too tragic for obvious reasons, also nothing too magical. My heart could explode if I was to lean too hard in one direction and I may really not be okay.

And most of the time this is not up to me, like when my kid fell out of a second-story window. He is okay. I was not.

Or when he won the kindness coin at school and when I asked him how he told me, ‘I just have so much gratitude in my heart.’ He is okay. I am not.

blonde, toddler boy coloring a book with crayons sitting on a patio table of a restaurant
Courtesy of Clare Johnson

So I am learning. That I will probably not ever be okay again. Not ever.

Every playground. Every car ride. Every holiday. Every preschool art project. I am done.

This will be the state of things from now on—falling.

Terror. Heartbreak. Love. Surrender. Over and over and over until the end. All of it is possible in every moment.

The only thing that matters now is my willingness to stay awake to this reality. To know that the next moment of my life holds the possibility of everything. To stay suspended and in awe.

Sometimes, I miss not knowing the edge was so thin. That we could really lose it all at any time, but the knowing is precious too.

Falling is a steady state. It offers things that grasping and clinging can’t offer – like the space needed to have, and lose, and love.

Falling is maybe all we are really doing here anyway.”

First-time mom holding toddler son in her arms in front of a large tree
Courtesy of Clare Johnson

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Clare Johnson. You can follow her journey on InstagramDo you have a similar experience? We’d love to hear your journey; submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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