Sending that “Our Kid Got Bit by a Snake” Text to My Wife on International Work Travel and Thoughts on Fatherhood

It happened pretty quick after pointing out the snake to my oldest son earlier today.

I figured he’d try to touch it, I didn’t expect him to grab the snake by the tail and lift it up for all to see.

Probably time to get this out of the way; we live in Ohio where there aren’t any venomous snakes. I also grew up on the Alabama coast, where hurricanes, alligators, riptides, and rattlesnakes are part of life. I’m confident enough in my snake identification skills even if we weren’t in Ohio. (Eagle Scout brag)

So when my son lifted up a two-foot long garter snake today, he got quite a surprise when it bit him.

It was just a tiny scratch and barely bled, which we washed with soap and water immediately after. We talked about it while washing his hand and drove home a valuable lesson about not picking up wild animals. Not to mention, my mother still lives in South Alabama with some dangerous snakes, and this is a great reminder to have the proper respect.

I’ve thought about it all afternoon.

I thought about my role as his father. While I would never want anything, even something so benign, to bite my kid, is it the right thing to do when the greater lesson may save pain and suffering later? How much should I try to protect him from these things?

How much can I really, given events of the past week?

Questions within questions.

But today we learned a high value lesson at low cost. Sounds like a good investment no matter how you add it up. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Sending that text to my wife was funny though.

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