There are times in parenting that cause me to pause and take heart. Some make me smile, some bring concern, while others take my breath away. We pray nightly with our kids. The most common things we pray for include gratitude for provision (thank you God for our home, family, food, etc) and protection (please guide these kiddos’ steps and protect them, especially Jax, from harm). This week I saw God’s protection over my kids, not once but twice, and experienced a gratitude for His provision that I don’t know if I can put into words…but I’ll try.
I haven’t blogged in forever because, well…we have all these kids now…3 to be exact…yeah, that’s how bad it is…#3, Jase, hasn’t even made it to the blog yet (he’s 6 months!)…now that I think about it, y’all know we had a #2, Jax, right? Gosh, it’s worse than I thought! We’ve clearly had more children than I can effectively blog about…whatevs, love them and it’s totally worth it. Remind me to document some of Jax’s mischievousness at a later date. He’s a treat, but I digress…
Anyway, the happenings of this week were substantial enough to motivate my butt to sit down and write. My mom visited last week while the hubs was out of town on business. Her and I were sitting out on the driveway watching my two eldest play while we also made a grocery list for the week. She headed inside briefly, I peered down at my phone to finalize one last item, and that was all it took. Brynn’s panicked screaming grabbed my attention as time stood still and splayed out of my control all at the same time. You see, we have a steep driveway in our new house (new house? oh yeah, we live in Seattle now…basically, don’t believe anything you read in my About section). Like I was saying, we have a steep driveway, which Brynn was sailing down in our little red wagon straight towards the street thanks to the push of one mischievous little boy (I did tell you to remind me to blog about Jax, yes?). Never mind the poor baby sitting on my lap, I jumped up in full on Mama-Bear-survival-mode only to realize baby slid halfway down my body. In an attempt to brace his fall, I caught him at the knee and dumped him (poor Jase) on our hard pebbled driveway, continuing to flail after my firstborn. I only caught up with her once she’d completely crossed the street and come to an abrupt halt on the neighbor’s curb. The same neighbor who watched the entire incident from his car as he was prepared to back out and leave for the day.
Fast forward a couple days. We take the kiddos to the Children’s Museum with a friend. That’s 3 adults to my 3 kids and friend’s 1yr old. Sufficient coverage, wouldn’t you say? It’s time for lunch. The museum is gated off from the entrance and does not allow strollers beyond the gated portion of the entrance. Since we stowed the lunches in the stroller, we exit through the gate briefly to get the lunches and head right back through the gate to head down to the picnic area. I peer down at the kiddos and…where’s Jax?!! My mom begins to panic and search the closest exhibit. I am much more composed because this child has put me through enough craziness to know he’s most likely right where we left him, doing acrobatics in the stroller. That, or he’s climbed the coat rack and is preparing to parkour right off the top. I go back through the gate and resume my position by our stroller. Hmm, no Jax. I’m still not panicked, as probably less than 2 minutes has passed. I look further down the hall towards the front door. There is a man entering the museum carrying both his toddler and another child that greatly resembles MINE. Now, I’m beginning to sweat. Why is that man carrying my child? And did he just come from outside? I notice what appears to be a very concerned woman frantically talking to the museum attendant. As I approach the man to claim Jax, the woman and museum attendant join him. “We found him in the street” was all I heard. Found him in the street. In the street. The STREET. My ears are ringing. Time stood still once more. And then it was over. We were downstairs having lunch. For the second time this week, I was left trying to wrap my mind around the gravity of what happened, what didn’t, and what could have been.
Many prayers of thanksgiving and several days later, I’m still plagued by these what if’s.
We live at the base of a hill that curves around a bend where cars are known to come buzzing around the corner out of nowhere. What if a car had met Brynn’s fate at the time she’d gone sailing into the street?
The museum is located on a particularly busy street. That what if is difficult to even pen. Or what if a concerned parent had not been the one to find Jax floundering about solo outside the museum?
But then I remember all of the prayers we’ve sent up night after night. They resonate a little closer tonight. Thank you, God, for entrusting me with these amazing children. Thank you for tasking me with what sometimes seems like the impossible duty of parenting them. Thank you for meeting me right where I am or where they are when I fall short of keeping them safe. Thank you for your awesome provision and thank you for your mighty protection.