I heard a pop, she let out a little cry and crawled over to me. I picked her up in time to watch her eyes roll back in her head, her body went limp and within a few horrifying seconds her lips turned blue.
I started screaming; the screams of a woman in distress, panic. As I screamed, over and over again, telling my husband to call 911 I rubbed her chest frantically. I called her name and began CPR. “I’m performing CPR on my baby.” I’m still screaming.
She’s still. So very scary still. It’s seconds. Only seconds. And then she’s back. Quiet and limp. Hot tears are burning my face. My little man is sitting next to me crying. We’re praying while Daddy is on the phone with 911.
Then they’re in my home. A horde of them in their blue shirts holding medical equipment. She’s breathing again and their checking her out. They keep saying “good job, mom, you’re okay, mom.” But have I done a job good, am I okay?
I was standing right there when she so quickly got her finger between the outlet and the nightlight. I didn’t even realize it was half-hanging out of the wall. I mean, I WAS RIGHT THERE.
I hold her so very tight the rest of the day, I check on her throughout the night.
“Good job, mom, you’re okay, mom.”
He’s getting to that point where he’s brave, scary brave. Jumping out of trees and off steps, riding his bike and skidding out. His little friends egg him on. They egg each other on and before I know it someone is crying, bleeding, bruised. I hold him tight while cleaning out his “battle wounds”, tears run down his beautiful face, he sits still in my arms until the pain fades. And then he’s off again, jumping, sliding, living. He runs out the door, “be safe, be safe,” I tell him.
We’re at the park. She’s her own little lady now. She walk/runs giggling, thinking she’s on her own. But I’m always right behind her. Her shadow. She’s such a little thing and so set on doing what she wants to do, red-haired and determined. She’s going a little too fast, turns quickly and trips over my toe. She’s down. Her nose starts bleeding. I hold her close and again she exhales out all of her breath. Her eyes roll back in her head and she’s limp. I feel the panic rising up inside me, then she’s back. Someone whisks me under their umbrella, these kind people, they give me cold water, I cool her down, silent tears rolling down my face.
We’re at the pediatrician. “Good job, mom, you’re okay, mom. She’ll grow out of it.” I want to pad the walls of her world, of his world. I want to protect them from everything and everyone. I want to keep my babies safe. My chest literally aches as I watch my heart roaming about outside of my chest.
And I’m one of the lucky ones. My kids are healthy. Our home life is pretty stable. We are surrounded by love. We have an incredible extended family that holds us up and supports us. Life is so, so good. Even when it’s hard and painful, it’s good. Because there’s love. We are the lucky ones.
I know there are momma’s and daddy’s out there whispering prayers as their child’s health fails. I know they are sitting their holding their hands during chemo treatments. I know they are weeping as they let go. I know there are the parent’s scraping by to feed little hungry mouths. I know there are children and parents without a roof over their head tonight. And worst of all I know that there are children out there—and nearer than I’d like to realize—without love. There are the refugees, the marginalized, the trafficked, the impoverished. There are the broken, the beaten, the forgotten.
We are the lucky ones.
I cannot bubble wrap my children. I cannot keep them from the world. I can only do my best to prepare them. And in doing so, I must also prepare myself, for we are the lucky ones.