There's a little light of humanity in the middle of a dark election season today. People on both sides of the aisle are coming together today to wish Republican Senator Marco Rubio's daughter a swift recovery from a head injury sustained during a weekend accident. At the time 12-year-old Amanda was being rushed to the hospital, her dad was hours away campaigning with Mitt Romney.
I'm not a big fan of the Senator, but the parent in me softened immediately upon hearing the news. I could see myself in his shoes, being the working parent away from home when tragedy struck.
Amanda Rubio suffered a concussion when a golf cart in which she was a passenger was involved in an accident. Her dad had to put off campaigning and rush back home to be with his wife and all four kids.
I need to stress that Rubio was by no means a negligent parent here. The inevitable strike out at working parents who aren't at their kids' beck and call at every moment of the day is getting ridiculous. Yes, parents work. It's 2012. Get over it.
While we're on that topic, working parents who spend time out of town, away from their kids, are doing what they have to for their families. Marco Rubio does it. I've done it.
And yet, I can imagine Rubio kicking himself right now. It's what we working parents who sometimes have to be far away from our kids do, even before an accident like the one that sent Amanda Rubio to the hospital.
Every time I leave my daughter to go out of town -- which is about once a year -- I'm filled with terror. My husband is a wonderful father, and he would never let anything happen to her. But I think the worry gene gets kicked into overdrive the moment sperm hits egg. Instead of listening to the reasonable part of my brain that acknowledges his superior parenting skills, I picture everything that can go wrong going wrong.
Now that Amanda Rubio has been released from the hospital and looks to be on the mend, we have proof that life goes on, that being away from our kids isn't the end of the world. But even as my brain tries to tell me that, that darn worry gene kicks in.
Have you been in Marco Rubio's shoes? How did you deal with being away from your child when they needed you?
Image via Thomas Dwyer/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside