Yes, I nearly died the other day! AGAIN!
It was a late Saturday morning and I had met up with my sisters at a local coffee shop, both our kids in tow (Sofia 20 months old and Cristiano almost 6 yearls old). My husband had gone to pick something up from a nearby store and I was left to enjoy my coffee and watch the little one while she stayed out of mischief. I didn’t do a very good job of that I’m afraid! She’s an explorer and loves to test us grown-ups. As she was strolling around the coffee shop, mingling with the other grown-ups enjoying their coffee, I suddenly felt she had strayed a bit too far for my liking and I said out loudly to her that she must stay inside the doors and not go outside. The coffee shop is a fairly large place with floor-to-ceiling glass doors all the way around the shop and there was a good number of doors open on the one side of the store close to where we were sitting but much closer to where Sofia was walking…
As soon as I uttered those words to her, ‘Sofia stay inside, don’t go out the doors’ she sneakily continued walking while casually looking over her shoulder at me and then she just out of the blue BOLTED for the open doors!
Well that was me! I remember shouting out her name as I became a survivor contestant chasing a beef burger on a deserted island! I have never in my life felt such adrenaline pumping in my body! And I have never in my life seen a little toddler run so fast! I had to jump and almost fly over the obstacles in my way (the furniture) so I could get to an opening in the doors and get her in my grips before she got to the very busy road! As my feet landed on the ground (after flying over a couch) I twisted my body in an effort to turn left in her direction as she was speeding towards the road and I reached out to grab her … and that was when I died! I slipped on the slated floor, my fingers just brushing across her little cardigan …
I FAILED TO CATCH HER
My heart stopped as I fell to the ground on my knees, fearful of what might happen next. My whole life flashed before my eyes and I remember thinking, feeling and praying ‘oh my God’!
As I fell down, something amazing happened. Sofia just stopped probably less than a meter away from the road and turned to look at me. By then I was already up on my feet again. I grabbed her in my arms and I gave her a stern verbal talking to as well as a spank on her bottom.
I’m not a spanker!
Neither is my husband. And we get flack from some family about this. It’s just not our thing. But that day, when I almost lost her because of my negligence, she got a spank. Just one. She cried a different cry that day. A cry that sealed a difficult lesson for both of us. We were all shaken. My eldest sister the most. She somehow couldn’t understand how I could be so calm after something so terrible. Yes, it was a difficult thing to experience. But it was much much gentler than what could have been. And for that, I’m eternally grateful that God heard my cries. My mother believes that it was God who made Sofia stop in her tracks to turn back and see that her mommy had fallen down and hurt herself. Sofia still asks to see my grazed elbow and knees. I know it’s something that will stay with her now. She won’t remember as a grown up, but her subconscious mind will, and it may very likely protect her in the future from anything similar happening again.
Fear does that you know… It protects us. When it is warranted.
And it makes for an excellent upcoming blog post!
So what did I learn from this experience? A few things actually:
A reconfirmation of my belief that toddlers do not make good company in a coffee shop.
I need to be close enough to her to act fast and efficiently should the need arise.
If the place isn’t child proof then don’t take the child.
Don’t ever put myself in a situation again where I cannot protect my child.
Wear rubber soled shoes when I’m out and about with Sofia 🙂
Life can be taken away from you in the blink of any eye – embrace every beautiful, tiring, stinking, poo-filled moment that exists because you never know when they will no longer be there.
Teach and model trust to my children and myself!