I think one of the characteristics of a great mom is the ability to admit when you've messed up. Well, tonight I messed up BIG TIME and it had the potential to be really HUGE!!!! I had all four kiddos with me in the van, Gabe was in his truck and we were meeting at Denny's for dinner. I got out and started getting kids out when Elijah said he needed to put his shoes on. At that moment, the clouds opened up and the misting rain turned into pouring down rain. I had the younger 3 out of the car already so I assumed (we all know what that does) that all would be fine if we walked to the covered area to wait on Elijah.
I'm standing there and see Gabe run towards Dusty's (his cousin that was also meeting us) car, then I hear Elijah screaming. I still have no clue why Gabe ran at this point but I assume (again, I know, I'm bad about that) that Elijah is screaming because we left him. I NEVER do stuff like that but I assumed that he knows to look for cars and walk safely across the parking lot, especially since I was right there watching him. Well, I was watching the van, I never saw him. It turns out that Elijah had gotten done with his shoes and had taken off in a run towards the restaurant, right at the time that Dusty was coming up and about to turn into a parking spot. Elijah ran smack into the drivers side door of Dusty's car and fell backwards. Gabe didn't see it happen but he heard the loud thump and couldn't see Elijah. Elijah was kinda shocked at first and scared to death. Thankfully God was watching out for my baby in my ignorance and protected him from a potentially bad outcome.
When I found out what had happened, my heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. It was all I could do not to cry right there in front of Denny's. I feel like the worst mom ever! My entire family could have been forever changed tonight because I was worried about me and the babies getting soaked. We've lost a child before and it was devastating. I would never get over losing another child, especially when it was something like this that could have easily been prevented if I had actually been a little more cautious and stayed with Elijah as he put on his shoes. He has walked through parking lots with me a million times, he crosses the street on the way to the park on his bike with me watching from behind as I walk with the little ones. He knows how to watch for cars and I assumed that he would. He trusts me and assumes that I am going to take care of him. Tonight he assumed that there wouldn't be any cars coming and he didn't stop to look. I assumed that he would be safe walking alone. We've both learned a great big lesson tonight and I hope that in the future I will be much more careful in walking with my kids through a parking lot and across streets.
My biggest fear with my kids has always been that one would get run over. Not sure why I fear this but I do. Tonight I realized just how easily this could actually happen because of one little act of assuming on my part. Kids are supposed to assume that their parents are going to take care of them and that the world is safe. Moms are not supposed to assume that their kids are safe, we are to make sure that they are safe. I could have waited 2 minutes for him to put on his shoes. I could have quickly put the kids back in the van to wait instead of walking 25 feet away to get out of the rain. I am so glad that this didn't happen just 3 seconds earlier or 1 second later. He could have been in front of the car or could have hit right at the rear tire as Dusty was pulling into his parking spot. God had his hand on my Baby Boy tonight and I am so thankful that He did. I made a huge parenting mistake tonight and one that I cannot easily forgive myself for. I did something that I never do and it almost became something horrible.