I bet you didn't know an open door could be the scariest sight in your life....but today it was for me.
It's funny that just yesterday I pointed out to my wonderful Husband, Adam, that if he didn't say goodbye to me in the morning, what if THAT were the day something happened to him and I didn't get that last chance to tell him I loved him?! (all this because I'm usually snoozzzzzzing when he leaves early in the morning) I'm always saying things like this, "what if THIS is the day something does happen?" That's why I (somewhat obsessively) remind my family I love them at every opportunity, never leave my car running if I'm not sitting in the driver seat, and always....always....ALWAYS make sure the doors in my house are locked. (or as today would prove...not always)
With a houseful of children, it is inevitable that someone is doing something they shouldn't while I'm not watching. This I am very aware of. I like that when I am in the kitchen the children all like to hang around the counter to watch what I'm doing and talk, however, it's a different story when...nature calls. Ahem. However, because that is an opportunity for a little peace and quiet I do enjoy the break even if it's just to use the facilities for a minute or two.
Today, during one of my rare potty breaks from motherhood, I heard the most dreaded phrase as Maggie walked out of the classroom. "Hey...the front door is open." Now, she didn't yell it, or scream it, or say it with fear, but thankfully I have excellent hearing and heard it down the hall through two closed doors (the master bedroom door and bathroom door) and I FELT the fear in that moment. I've never left a bathroom so fast in my life. I KNEW that my two little babies were the only ones wandering around at that time, I had seen them playing with toys in the hallway happily which is why I allowed myself a moment's peace in the bathroom, the older girls were doing school work in our classroom and Katie was upstairs watching a movie. The only ones who could have opened that door were 1 year old's Catcher and Darla. I came running down the hall toward the open front door pushing the older two girls aside without even looking to see if the babies were still in the house. In the milisecond it took me to run out to the front yard I wondered everything....EVERYTHING. What if they've gone different directions? What if they've been snatched by a stranger? What if they've been hit by a car? What if I can't find them?!!!!! All of this went through my mind as I ran out the door, but I never even stopped running, I saw them FOUR HOUSES DOWN THE STREET!! They were on the same side of the street at least. I ran so fast it was like an out of body experience wondering how on earth my body could possibly move through space so fast.
They stopped when they saw me running toward them, I feared they'd think it was a game and run away from me, thankfully they didn't. I scooped them up and carried them both together back to my still open front door. The weight of both of them together is over 40 pounds and the weight of them compounding the insanely fast sprint past four houses took it's toll a moment after safely arriving home. I shut, locked and latched the front door, and nearly collapsed on the floor. They both kept hugging me as the other kids stood in stunned silence. It was quite sometime before I got up.
Last night I had not checked that the door was latched when I went to bed. (and I always do)
This morning I did not check that the door was latched when I got the babies up, in case Adam might have gone out that way this morning, though he usually goes out through the garage (again I always check for that too)
Somehow, on the ONE day I was not careful to check for the door to be latched is the ONE day my babies decide to open it and venture out. I suppose I would never know if they'd tried this before, being that I always lock it.
I tell you this story not so that you can tell me what a horrible parent I am (although I'm certainly telling myself that right now) but so that you might learn that it truly is the one day you step away from the safeties in your life that terrible things can happen. I know that my babies wandering a few houses away might not seem terrible....but it so easily could have ended differently. So please, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, because one day (tomorrow or 20 years from now) you won't have chances to and you don't want to regret that, and don't think that just because your child has never tried to do something, doesn't mean you should let your gaurd down assuming they never will.
I am writing this blog as the babies are napping, I may have to start wearing adult diapers just to keep my eye on them every second :) (for those of you who say let your child come in the bathroom with you, I would totally agree, if there weren't two of them...it's a whole different ball game...and ball games while going to the bathroom is exactly why I can't bring them in with me :)