In recent news, a man had entered into an electrified swimming pool to save his daughter and subsequently died from electrocution. His daughter survived.
My 5-year-old son looked wide-eyed as I read the report to my wife. Silence overtook the room for a moment and then in a still, small voice he said, "Daddy, would you die for me?"
"Yes, of course."
Tears welled up in his baby brown eyes. "I would die for you, too."
Needless to say, I swept him into my arms and broke down.
I was out all day, and didn't check in with my son, thinking at his age (17) he wouldn't care what I was doing. I was wrong. He somehow got it into his head that I might have had an accident. And worse, since his father died, I am his only parent. He said to me later, in a tone that showed exactly how scared and hurt he was, that I had frightened him into thinking he now had no parents and was all alone in the world. Needless to say, I felt horrible and have vowed to check in if I am ever out later than expected.