My son was on the play equipment that was hit by a car

I know parents who have lost children in tragic circumstances. The grief I saw them go through was so hard to relate to all I could do was offer words of condolence that held perhaps just a glimmer of understanding. 

It wasn't until my wife and I experienced two miscarriages last year that I knew what it felt like to some extent.

I was at home with my four year old son last week when I learned of the incident at the foreshore. My youngest child had fallen asleep and not joined his brother, mother and friends for a trip to the playground. 

My wife rang. She was crying, and trying not to lose it. 

"A car has crashed into the playground at the foreshore."

Immediately all the possible worse case scenarios ran through my mind. I don't need to tell you what they were. 

She managed to get out that our son was ok, that no one was hurt... miraculously. 

A little girl celebrating her first birthday had been playing right where the car had hit just moments earlier. 

My sons usually play under the equipment right where the car hit. 

My seven year old was on top of the playground equipment with a friend of his when the incident happened. He was shaken up. Literally and emotionally.

His other friend was between the road and the play equipment moments before the car had hit, but had just run around the other side. 

They came home. I picked up my son. He needed a hug from Dad. 

He buried his head in my chest and cried ever so gently. I held him tighter than usual. 

Once you become a parent there's very little in the world you hold dear. Having nice clothes or a new car or big TV are great, but you realise how worthless these things are compared to the precious gift that is a child. 

My wife was a little fragile and so was I truth be told. She struggled to sleep that night, and the next, and the next. 

Looking at the bent equipment I saw how close my child had come to tragedy.

I did not gain a new appreciation of how precious his life was. I've always loved him with all my heart and always will. 

What I did gain is a greater understanding of how fragile all of our lives are.

Perhaps bollards may prevent this particular incident from happening again. But what if the next time it happens near the water park? Or on our front lawn?

There's no way to keep your child or loved one 100% safe 100% of the time. Accidents happen. They always have, they always will. That's not to say we shouldn't take reasonable precautions to prevent things. Learning from past accidents have made the roads safer than ever, and I don't want to live in a world where people live by the YOLO mantra all day long. 

I can't stop things like this from happening. What I can do is ensure I make the most of every day I have with my loved ones, and carry no regrets when the day comes that we do part company. 

I thank God everyone was safe that day.