Monday, July 11, 2016

If you are the One, that is all that matters!

I've read article after article about last month's recent events. I've held my kids tighter, kissed them more often and become more aware of everything around us. I like to think of myself as a rational human being, and a somewhat rational mother. However there are times, places and situations where my rationality is completely thrown out the window and fearful, stubborn, scared Mommy rears her timid head.

This week I began thinking about statistics. My entire life, I loved math! I was in a math league in high school and competed against myself and others. I scored nearly perfect on every math and science regents in high school. In college, I tested out of my statistics finals and minored in economics. To say I enjoy math is an understatement. I spent years as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs and I am now an accountant and one of the few people I've ever heard say they LOVE taxes, especially small businesses. There is just something about a perfectly balanced balance sheet and clean income statement that put a smile on my face.

Where was I? Oh right, statistics.
I'm sure statistics are the reason I find no joy in playing the lottery, gambling at casinos or testing my luck at carnival games. I understand, statistically speaking, I have a very small chance of leaving with heavier pockets and I am perfectly fine taking my $20 and popping into the restaurant around the corner to enjoy a fabulous drink and burger. I'm not necessarily cheap or a saver by nature but I am aware of rate of returns, time value of money and enjoying your life as well as planning for the future.

However, when it comes to being a Mom, my very core beliefs, all my statistical understanding, the basics which make up my moral fiber and knowledge seem to fly out the window. I suddenly become encapsulated by that One. One in ten, One in a hundred, One in a thousand, One in a million. Because I promise you, if you are the One, that is all that matters. Who cares if you were some statistic, some infinitesimal chance, the only thing that means anything is that your everything is shattered.
As time has passed I'm sure the vast majority of you forgot about the little child taken by an alligator in Florida, on a Disney vacation during what was supposed to be a very happy occasion. I can promise you, the family of the One... has not, and neither have I.

I understand that family. I understand how something like that happened. I understand that their child was some freak accident, some One in something unlikely statistic. I realize that my vibrant little two year old, running and splashing in the water could have been that One. My timid five year old, getting a bucket of water could have been that One. My baby boy, sitting on the sand at the edge of the beach could have been that One and it is all I can do to not cry for that family every time I think of what happened.
Let's talk statistics:

This article is actually a very good read because it takes into consideration what I have been saying all along. Instead of giving you some general statistic considering the entire population, (i.e. One in 3,748,067 are your odds of being attacked by a shark) it instead analyzes people that actually are in the ocean (surfers) and calculates the likelihood of being attacked by a shark at One in 25,641 significantly more likely than the One in 79,746 of being struck by lightening. Now, this article analyzes shark attacks verse everything else and this article will tell you your odds of dying from anything (I did not verify its credentials, but then again that's not really the point.)
We are currently on vacation in Florida and I'm terrified of being the One in anything. Just last week, news about Vibrio vulnificus hit the newsstands. Apparently our odds of contracting that lovely virus are somewhere around One in 2,906,250. For most people, odds never seem scary until they happen to you.
But what if they happen to you? What if your little baby was the One. I guess the same can be said of cancer, respiratory illnesses, car accidents, plane crashes... life. But I implore you today, consider yourself as the One, your child as the One, your parent, friend, or spouse. Somewhere find your sympathy for these families, appreciate those around you, hold your children longer and tighter, find your soft words, don't judge, don't lash out or look down. Tell those families you understand and tell them you're scared too.

From my family to yours... I hope you never have to experience what being the One feels like, but if you do, know that I am here and I am probably still thinking of you too.