Childrearing

Horrible Death In Houston Stadium Only Reinforces My Fear Of Escalators

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escalatorLike every child that ever was, my little girl thinks escalators are completely awesome. She would ride on them as if we were at an amusement park for hours if I let her. And because she’s a strong and independent girl, she wants to ride them alone. Or at the very least, she’ll hold out her hand and say, “I can go first, Mom!” Every single time, I start to panic a little bit and  refuse. She cannot go down the escalator unless I am standing in front of her with my hands out, like I’m waiting to play catch, or standing next to her with a firm grip on her shoulder.

We all have our own paranoia. This is one of mine. I cannot get rid of the idea that my daughter could tumble down that escalator. Maybe she’ll trip or she’ll be standing on the step when it splits and just lose her balance. The whole thing is honestly terrifying to me.

Enter this gruesome story about a man falling to his death off of an escalator at a preseason Houston Texans’ game. 25-year-old Jonathon Kelly was attempting to sit on the rail of the escalator when he fell backwards and landed three stories down on the pavement. It should be noted that according the CBS Houston, alcohol might have been involved. The takeaway though is that a young man lost his life on that escalator.

The Institute for the Study of Sports Incidents says that this is the ninth escalator-related death in the past decade. For reference, eight people have lost their lives trying to reach over the railing to catch a ball.

Now, I promise that I am not completely illogical. I know that the odds of dying on an escalator are intensely smaller than almost anything else we can imagine. I know that playing on a playground, riding in your car, and a whole host of other things that we do all the time are more dangerous. In my head, I know all of this. I am aware of the craziness of my paranoia.

That somehow doesn’t make my stomach stop sinking at the department store when my daughter gets excited about the stupid escalator. It doesn’t stop the panic when she attempts to run ahead of me out of excitement. She’s never taken a step onto the thing without me yet, but the day she does my head might explode.

I know, I know. This is a silly fear. And the tragic news story involved doesn’t justify my terror. But this is a safe space to admit our irrational fears, right? What are you ladies terrified of your children hurting themselves on, even if it’s not logical at all? I have a friend whose obsessive about purified water because she’s terrified of the possible chemicals in tap water. Please let me know that I’m not alone in the irrational fear department.

(Photo: hxdbzxy/Shutterstock)