3-Year-Old Killed in Freak Accident Makes Me Want To Be a Different Mom

Heartbreaking 102

oceanThree-year-old LaShaun Lovejoy Huff loved the water, and a few weeks ago was having one of the best days of his life during a trip to a Texas beach with his family. Then the trip took a tragic turn.

According to Chron.com, LaShaun was walking with his aunt when an enormous tree trunk --  6-feet thick and 40-feet long -- came sliding off of dune toward them. Though they tried to escape its path, and his aunt and grandfather tried to stop it, all three were pinned underneath the tree. LaShaun was crushed to death.

Heartbreaking; and it's terrifying to think that the life of a child can be taken that easily, in a split second.

It's one of those things that makes us all say I just can't imagine -- one of those freak accidents that no parent could prevent. We can get our kids all of the vaccinations in the world, teach stranger danger, make them wear helmets when they crawl, and douse them regularly in hand sanitizer, but it's cases like this that show us how little control we really have over their safety when it comes down to it. And that is completely unnerving as a parent.

I was speaking to a friend the other day about another awful tragedy that had taken a child she knew way too early, and she said after that she vowed to be a different kind of mother. She said no longer does she want to be the mom who always says "no"; she wants to be the mom who says, "why not?" Why not, indeed. It's certainly a  much healthier approach than my initial reaction to stories like this to just want to wrap them in bubble wrap and never let them leave the house.

Of course, we all have to implement some rules and order in our lives or chaos would ensue, but too often we stick to them because just because they're the rules or because doing otherwise is more work. I would hate to count the number of times I utter "no," or "maybe later," or "next time," to my children. I want to be a why not mom too. 

Why not change course on the way to school once in awhile on a beautiful day and head to the park instead? Why not get as messy as possible in the mud? Why not wake them up just to show them a gorgeous moon and have a midnight snack some night? Why not let them crawl into bed in the middle of the night with me until they're 18 if they want?

Because the simple truth is that I'd rather ask myself "why not" not now rather than "why didn't I later."

Do tragedies like this make you want to change your parenting strategy?

Image via Mono_Toni/Flickr

a mom's life, in the news, toddler health


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

erica... ericasavannah

this is so sad i have to stay sorry to the parents and everyone about the lost.

butte... butterflymkm

Something similar happened to a girl from my highschool. She was the perfect girl, good grades, good college, volleyball captain. Out on a walk with her bf and a tree randomly fell over and killed her. It was so tragic. My heart goes out to the family.

nonmember avatar A

This happened right by where I live. They weren't on a trip, they recently moved here.

J_and... J_andrews8081

I, personally, take from this to be a closer mom. A more attentive mom. I don't feel guilt in saying I protect my kids from things others wouldn't think to. Call me over-attentive, or a helicopter mom, and I would laugh in your laugh (and maybe slap you, if my children weren't there). I am nothing of the sort. I'm a "risk assessment" mom. I don't take 3 year old to the beach...why? Because they're THREE YEARS OLD. I have plenty of years to take him/her to the beach, providing I choose to be safe. Lesson: Choose NOT to do careless shit with your child. Learn about the ocean. Grown up. America's youth thanks you all. Ugh.


For all the whining, what is LESS safe than an ocean? give me an example and I will gracefully accept your argument.

the4m... the4mutts


While I don't agree with the WAY you said this, I agree with what you said. There are too many things that can happen at a beach. I don't even like my 8 year old there, even though I've taken him. It gives me an uneasy feeling in my gut.

The ocean is so large, so many strange people flock to them, the atmosphere is daunting..

That being said, its not like the poor child drowned.. who could ever think to protect someone from a tree? How do you protect from a tree that you're not even walking under?

This isn't a negligent parent taking their kid somewhere that kids just don't belong, its just as the author said, a freak accident.

To the question at the end of the article:

No. It won't change my parenting style. My children and I are close, they know I love them. If today was their last day, it wouldn't hurt me to know that it was a boring, average day. It would make me feel good to know that on an average day, they still know they're loved.

Amy Lynn

First of all - I feel SO sorry for this little boys family as this is truly a case of a freak accident. No misunderstandings, no neglect. Just a simple walk on the beach that turned into a horrible accident. May that sweet little boy rest in peace.


I do have one question for the 2 moms who said they're scared to take their children to the beach... WHY exactly? I am not trying to judge, and I apologize if it comes across that way. I just... don't understand? I grew up in San Diego, CA so that may be why I don't understand. Don't get me wrong - I have an almost 3 year old. When it's time to go to the beach, the lake, the pool or ANYWHERE near water - I am 100x more cautious than most parents. From sunscreen and sunhats, watershoes, and the bathing suits with the life vests BUILT IN (i don't like the plastic blow up things as anything more than toys as I know all too well how they pop so easily). She does not go in the water without me or her father or an ADULT (not a 12 year old cousin or anything). But I do take her. I am careful and take all precautions possible. But I am having trouble understanding why someone wouldn't take their child to the beach? Nothing is 100% safe, I know that.. but still, this seems extreme?

missg8 missg8

So sad! :O[

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I find it very sad that there are parents liking at stories like this and deciding that the beach is too dangerous. A tree fell on her. Should we also stop going to the woods? The park? Tree lined streets? No more shopping at Target in November when they have artificial trees for sale? Probably safest just to never leave the house, those deadly trees are everywhere. But wait, most accidents happen in the home! What is a paranoid helicopter parent to do?

Of course it's sad that this child died but at least she lived. She was probably having the time of her life before she died. Her family will always have those memories of her running around and having fun. No amount of cotton wool and plastic bubbles can prevent every freak accident. If you lost a child would you really want your memories to be of you anxiously watching them and preventing them from ever exploring or living?

Kritika Kritika

Thank you RhondaVeggie. Have you guys ever left your house? I knew there would be some crazy sanctimommy here blaming the mother.

1-10 of 102 comments 12345 Last