Friday, October 3, 2008

Fear and Loving in Houston

In movies, they sometimes show it by slowing down the film speed. The heroine or hero suddenly moves in molasses as the unthinkable seems to be happening -- the car crashes, the rope breaks, the shot is fired. It wasn't anything as dramatic as that, but, nonetheless, as potentially devastating.

I had just walked out of the restaurant door to meet with DH and Little Bit. Little Bit saw me and grinned in delight. The next instant he was running towards me, across the grass, towards the pavement of the parking lot...then I saw the SUV driving from my right, heading towards what looked like a meeting with my precious boy. It didn't feel like time had slowed down; everything moved much too quickly.

I could see every detail around me. I saw DH trying to catch up with Little Bit, who had been just out of reach. I noticed the older couple who exited the doors after me, looking in suprise and alarm as I screamed, "Noooooooooo!!!!" with my hand stretched out as if I could physically push Little Bit away, to stop him, to hold him safe. In my hyper-awareness, I saw the driver of the SUV, a woman, hear my scream and realize quickly where the danger was. She hit the brakes. I saw the SUV roll to a stop just as Little Bit disappeared behind the front wheel of her car. I ran forward, not knowing.(please, no...please, no...)

Heart racing, I turned the corner of the front bumper to see Little Bit running behind the rear of the car, still intent on getting to me. Ohmigod, he was running, he wasn't hit! But I was desperate to catch him before another car pulled into the lot, desperate to make sure he hadn't been hurt at all. I caught up with him as DH got to us. I grabbed my little boy and held him close, saying, "Ohmigod, ohmigod... oh, don't do that to us, little one!" He was fine, smiling at me, wondering why the adults were so excited. The woman driving the SUV had gotten out and ran around to us in panic, too. When she saw that he was fine, she looked upwards in thankfulness.

DH and I held him close as we walked to our car. Our hearts were still hammering, the adrenaline rushing through our veins. It had been just another ordinary day, that almost wasn't.

This is what it's like to live with the most tender part of your heart outside your body, outside your control. Just a few seconds difference, a driver's inattention...I shudder. I try to protect my overly sensitive mother's heart when I can. I don't read certain news stories; I can't. I can't read the details of little children who died by accident or malice. I don't click through to the news stories, but sometimes the local paper betrays me. Their website contains too much information in the headlines. Information that I did not want to know. Information that haunts me when I see the pictures of those children with bright, inquisitive eyes.

So, I try to protect my little one the best I can, knowing that it's not all under my control. Hoping that we continue to be among the lucky.

1 comment:

TxGambit said...

OMG! Thank goodness he was okay. Worse fear: have one of my children hit or to hit a child with my car.

My heart is pounding for you.