That time my child swung a shovel at another kid

Dear Quentin,

Yesterday when I picked you up from daycare, a teacher said that there was an incident and that she needed to talk to me. I automatically assumed that you were hurt, but no — you hurt another child.

You wouldn’t explain to the teachers why it happened. Did you think you would get in trouble? You are not a violent kid; no one thought you did it on purpose. They said that you were on the verge of tears when they showed you the other kid’s injury (a cut near the eye).

I got a story out of you when we got home. You were breaking ice with a shovel and it was an accident. Did the kid get too close? Did you move to a different spot and underestimate the reach of the shovel? Who knows. Accidents happen. You cried when you told me what happened. You felt terrible and my heart broke for you. You are empathetic, and that’s a good thing. You cry when you hurt me or your brother too.

I think your brother was injured in a similar fashion — maybe it was the same shovel — when he attended that daycare. Shovel to the bridge of the nose. He bled, but survived. I’m sure your “victim” will too.

Last night, I went axe throwing with my co-workers. As I swung the axe over my head, I thought (as terrible as this sounds) of you and your shovel incident. There was a sheet with high scores on the wall. One of the names near the top of the list was Quentin.

Maybe you’ll become a champion axe thrower some day, too.

When incidents like this occur at daycare, the participants are supposed to remain anonymous. So, if your child was the recipient of a gash around the eye as a result of a shovel: it was totally not this Quentin. It was the other one.