Photo by Charissa Hanson, November 2010
We had quite a scare this morning. I was walking Carter and Grace into summer camp, and Caroline had decided to stay in the car. Holding two bags and a beach towel in one hand, I held Carter's hand with the other, and he held Grace's hand. Our trio had just taken a few steps forward to the right when I suddenly heard men yelling. Unbeknownst to be me, Grace had stumbled and fallen, letting go of her brother's hand. And when I looked back, she was on her hands and knees about a foot away from the tire of an SUV that was backing up. I lurched to grab her, and the mom suddenly saw me and braked. I was so shaken that we just bolted into the church.
When I walked back outside, I searched for the men who had yelled warnings. I finally found a group of construciton men and thanked them for alerting my attention. Whenever the 3 of us are walking in a chain, I alternately glance at the kiddos and then around us for moving vehicles. So within a couple of seconds, I would have seen Grace had fallen behind. But given that she fell so close to the car and, at the same, it was backing up, a few seconds might have been too late. I have teared up several times today thinking of what could have happened, especially given that our Sunday school class has been praying for a little girl who ran behind her father's truck last week and was run over. She was critically injured but survived and will recover in time. I thought I was being careful with all of us holding hands and moving slowly, but I realized how quickly tragedies can happen. I have given endless thanks today that my precious Grace was saved and that God used men on their work break to play a part.
Whenever close calls happen, you immediately been reevaluating your priorities. This afternoon, when Grace awoke from her nap, she crawled into my lap and cuddled with me. Periodically, she'd place her little hands on my cheeks, turn my head, and say, "Mommy look at me." For a 2 1/2-year-old, she has incredible eye contact. When she is speaking to you, she wants to have your full attention and eye contact to connect. As she looked so deeply into my eyes this afternoon, I realized she was looking for much more than a response her to exclamation about Kai-Lan's playhouse. She was saying, "Mommy, look at me. Really look at me. I am not feeling very secure right now, and I need you to reassure me."
I have honestly felt so annoyed the last couple of weeks by her constant questions, temper tantrums, sassiness, and jealousy. Today I realized that I need to get to the root of the issue and give her more attention. Simply by stopping and looking her in the eyes, I can make her feel loved and cherished. I really believe she's questioning how she fits into her momma's heart and life right now with our new addition, and I want her to know that I love her so much it hurts. It's sad that it took a nearly tragic incident to reveal all this to me, but I am thankful God knows exactly how to get our attention.
On a lighter note, I received a call from the vet surgeon this afternoon and learned that Jackson did very well in surgery today. He will spend the night there and will hopefully be able to come home with us tomorrow. This morning as we waited in the animal hospital, Jackson was shaking uncontrollably with fear. Carter, who typically antagonizes our dog, put his arms around Jackson's neck and kept saying, "It'll be okay Jackson. Don't worry." And Caroline even kept coming over to pet Jackson. He's definitely winning her over!
Thank you, thank you for all the coupon and grocery tips!!! I plan to check out all the sites tonight and make meal plans accordingly. You all are amazing!!!!!!! I think my husband is more thankful now than ever for this blog. :)