Twice in one week….that’s how many times I’ve witnessed two of my three children lie in danger of bodily harm by “another” (no, not by the hand of their siblings).
Seven days ago, I watched a large dog come within five feet of attacking one of my sons. Luke had just fallen off his scooter and was laying on the asphalt, observing his skinned-up hands when, from out of no where comes this massive dog, ears lowered, tail between his legs, growing and snarling, darting toward my child. If it hadn’t been for me stomping, running at full speed, yelling at the top of my lungs, and throwing a tricycle at him, I’m not sure the dog would have finally stopped and turned. I guess he figured that he was no longer the Alpha dog in the situation. The owner opened her front door when she heard me screaming and then addressed her son (who was on his bike in the driveway and witnessed the entire event) with scolding words, “You better not leave that door open again for that dog to get out, son”, and then turned around back inside.
Tonight, while at a McDonald’s playground (come on!), I watched Abigail climb the high staircase all by herself. For so long, her little legs haven’t been long enough to get up the wide tiers without the help from one of her brothers….but tonight she was beaming with joy as she showed off her new skills. Mitch left with the boys for an evening hockey game but I stayed behind to let Abigail play and enjoy herself. As I stood up from my booth to approach her about finally getting her shoes back on so we could go home, a fight broke out between two adult women who were just three booths away at a child’s birthday party. I panicked when I scanned the play area and couldn’t see Abigail. Was she under the pile of people who were fighting and referring? Was it too dangerous to try to break through the violence to get to my daughter? Then, I spotted her on the bottom tier, watching the grown-ups throw punches, pull hair, scream, cuss, and bleed. There were other parents in the area who were running for their kids, dialing 911 on their cell phones, and shouting for the adults to stop fighting. All I wanted to do was get out of there! I was in such a hurry that I didn’t bother packing up our leftovers or even remembering to retrieve Abigail’s shoes (which I went back for an hour later).
Both times were just plain scary. In the moment, the adrenaline was pumping and my mother-instinct kicked in at full gear. Thought wasn’t much of a process other than defeat and flee. Later, as I pondered on the situations, I cringed at the thought of much worse things that could have occurred. Pondering also brought to the forefront of my mind affirmations of my biggest idol…..my children. Most often when I dream, it usually ALWAYS involves losing one of my children. I wake up in a sweat, breathing heavily, wide awake, alert, and thankful it wasn’t real.
Lord, help my unbelief!