I was trimming Josiah's fingernails tonight, something that I've only ever done once before. When they get long enough, he scratches his face while he sleeps, and I don't want him to claw his eyes while he sleeps. I had just changed his diaper and applied some Desitin to prevent any diaper rash, so both his hands and mine were a little greasy. He was wide awake, and I knew that I'd have to move quickly as he rarely holds still. At the same time, I had to be precise, because I didn't want to clip his nails too short.
I got through the first hand without incident. When I moved around to the second little hand, I cut his little index finger and middle finger too short. I could tell right away from his facial expression; it had been playful but it now showed signs of significant discomfort. As if to say, "hey, daddy, watch it! that hurts!" I inspected the little fingers and realized that I had a tiny amount of his blood on my palm. I was both sickened and frightened; realizing that I had caused him pain (however slight) was excruciating, and having his blood on my hands was almost unbearable.
As I look at Josiah in his swing, happily flailing his arms and smiling at me, I realize that this is a non-event for him. He won't remember the incident, and he doesn't hold me responsible. My first reaction is to "freak out" a little when I see him in pain; it's something that I'm working on. It just seems to come naturally with parenting; that innate desire to protect them 24/7 from any danger or harm that could befall them. But at the end of the day, we do the very best that we can in keeping our babies safe and trust that God will protect them the rest of the way.