Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ABC Wednesday---I Is For Innocence

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt's Place.

Sooo...I don't know if that's what she looked like or not...but I'm glad she, or one...or 347 of her friends were on the job last Wednesday morning...because my Hopie was in desperate need of her "shou hu tian shi"...or guardian angel.

The end of Innocence, or life as you know it, can happen in a heartbeat. That morning I let Hope out of the car like I always do when it's cold or raining and watched her cross the street to the bus stop. I waved at the other mother parked on the street, got back into the car and watched Hopie playing in the wind. They were bad that day...gusts over 40 m.p.h...blowing the Jeep she was standing there pretending to let it blow her down the sidewalk. She took off her backpack and was letting it blow like a flag in the breeze. I was starting to get pretty perturbed at her and was just getting ready to open the door and yell when she put one arm into it and at that point I realized Claire had taken her shoulder straps off and was trying to unbuckle herself from her carseat. I looked into the rearview mirror and told her to put her straps back on. She didn't, so I counted, "1!..2!" She started to put them on. I took my eyes off the rearview and back onto the bus stop and couldn't find Hope...anywhere. One of the other children was looking frantically to me for help...another car was stopped in the street...I looked up the street and saw Hope's backpack blowing down the middle of the street. I had no time to be afraid or sick or even think. I jumped out of the Jeep and only THEN did I see her standing FAR up the street on the devil's strip staring at her backpack. I saw the bus coming, I yelled at her to get back in line at the bus stop then I took off running for the backpack, praying that the other mother would keep her eye on Claire in the Jeep. I grabbed the backpack, put it on Hopie, who was noticably upset and told her NO MORE PLAYING WITH THINGS AT THE BUS STOP! She squeaked out, "Ok" then got on the bus. As I was standing there watching her get on the bus all I could think of was now Claire was probably locked in the Jeep...with my keys...and my phone(which she wasn't thank goodness). The other mother then let me know that Hope had gone straight out into the street chasing her backpack...and that the the other car that I had seen stopped on the street, had stopped for her.

I looked away for 3 seconds and the things that could've happened...I'm trying not to think about. All I wanted to do was get in the car, follow the bus to school, and bring her home. I don't ever want to let her get more than 2 inches from me. I wanted to squeeze her so tight she couldn't breathe and smell her hair. And then I thought of how many people won't be able to do that to their children because their looking away for 3 seconds had a totally different outcome.

When she came home at lunchtime? It was as if the morning never happened. I scooped her up in my arms and, no surprise to you, started sobbing. She said, "Mama! What's wrong?" I said, "You SCARED me this morning!" Her response? "Why?" I had to REMIND her what happened! And still after both Garry and I talked to her AT LENGTH she was totally unphased. We both said, "But Hope! You could've been hit by a CAR!" She said, "But I wasn't." It was incredibly sweet, honest, Innocent, and frustrating as all get out at the same time!

Do you long for Innocence like that in your life? I know I do. Wouldn't it be beyond amazing to be able to have something so horrible, so terrifying, so dreadful happen one moment...and you could just let it go the next? That IS Hope. She is such a happy, bouncy, carefree child. Not only do I worry about her Innocence getting her into danger, but I also worry about her losing that Innocence. It only takes one smart aleck kid...or one bitter adult...or God forbid, one sick predator...and that happy, bouncy, carefree gone. Those kinds of thoughts...Immobilize me.

And THAT is why I am doubly grateful to God...and Hopie's 347 shou hu tian shi.

Until next time y'all...


Janie said...

Oh, wow, I could just feel that mother's fear kicking in, and the relief, and the emotion. Been there, believe me.
You want so much to protect them, but you can't be everywhere, all aware, all the time. I guess that's why a guardian angel comes in handy.
So glad Hope is safe!

pictureeachday said...

SO SCARY! I think my heart was beating a million times a minute reading that.
On the other hand, you're right about how amazing it would be to have that kind of innocence.. to not see the world as one big threat and constantly worry about the 'what-if's.

Carolina said...

The moment you have someone you care for, you lose your carefreeness (if that's a word).

Hugs xx

Kat said...

That is just TOO SCARY. It really does only take a moment. And thoughts like those are what haunt me. It really is difficult to let them more than 2 inches from me sometimes.

Jay said...

Oh, gosh .. I remember those 'heart in the mouth' moments!

And your post brought something else back into sharp focus.

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, my school had a visit from the road safety division of the local police force. We thought it was great! We had a break from lessons and they actually drove two or three police cars right into the playground and set up a little road system with mats and cones. We had a roundabout and a little zebra crossing and some traffic lights.

They gave us a little talk, and then asked for two volunteers. I had no idea what they were going to do, but I stuck my hand up, and I and another kid were chosen, and were asked to hold hands and try to cross the road at a given point - not on the crossing, and without looking.

Well, we did, and a police car came roaring up and screeched to a halt just feet from us. We both froze, our hearts hammering, our mouths dry. I can't speak for the other child (I can't even remember if it was a girl or a boy) but I have never forgotten that lesson.

Chances are, Hope will process that experience. It won't be forgotten. She may have buried it temporarily, because it was just too scary, but it's in there somewhere, and I'm betting she won't make the same mistake again!

Hugs to you!

Mel said...

Thanks a million girls...notice it took me a week before I could even write about it? Jay...I'm praying that you are right!!! My girl is scary smart...but she can also be scary ditzy! ")

Terri said...

I remember the "street/traffic safety" talks I had constantly with my babies when they were little.

It wasn't until one day when out for a walk and seeing a rabbit that did not "stop - look both ways - and hold a grown-ups hand to cross" did my talks finally hit home for them (my two older ones at the time)

The sight of that rabbit stuck with them more than any of my safety talks!

XUE said...

That is a scary tale that mothers can certainly relate to! All of us have had at least one moment like this - I guess to remind us how previous our child is.

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