Thursday, June 14, 2012

A peaceful ride

I had a lovely afternoon at the playground with a group of "old" friends. Five and a half years to be exact...that's how long we've been friends. But, at this time in my life, when I meet new moms at every pick-up from camp, soccer games, birthday parties, etc., I feel like acquaintances and casual moms are who I spend most of my time with instead of these "old" friends. Friends who knew me way back when this most blessed and crazy journey of parenthood began! They have seen me evolve into who I am today, and hopefully will grow with me (and my children) in the coming years.

After two hours of watching children play, taking care of all the minor scrapes, continuously feeding and calming a fussy 2-month-old, and enjoying fragments of conversations (some silly, some serious, all reflective) with my girlfriends, it was time to pack up the car and go. The ride home was uneventful and surprisingly peaceful. Thank God for this.

It wasn't until I arrived home that my husband (who had just gotten home from work) pointed out that the baby had not been strapped into her carseat on the way home. I had been so distracted trying to prevent the others from melting (they were very thirsty, hungry, overtired, whiny), that I had forgetten that the baby had fallen asleep and I had not strapped her in. Again, thank God that the ride home was peaceful.

I, however, am not at peace. Emotions have been overflowing. I have thanked God, Jesus, the Blessed Mother, the baby's guardian angel and patron saint, and the legion of angels that I ask to protect my children daily, countless times. I have gone over in my head a hundred times the "what ifs" and the promises/changes that I will make in my "strap the kids in" routine to ensure this never happens again. My husband, strangely, did not seem mad at me. I would've been absolutely livid if I had discovered the same.

I went for a walk to clear my head, and I prayed while lovingly gazing on said baby (who came along for the ride). The truth is, this will happen again. Please God not this exact same thing. But, the fact that one of my kids could be hurt or worse. That it might be my fault. Though I hate this realization and I double my prayer efforts for safety and protection, I need to let it go. I said my prayers and I have asked forgiveness (if I hadn't been so short with my other kids and gently taken care of their needs, perhaps I would not have been so distracted). Now, I need to let go.

As I go to bed now, I will reflect on the gifts of the day. The gorgeous weather, old friends, healthy children, a peaceful ride home, and God's grace to help me to let things go and to remember how much He loves me...despite my shortcomings and mistakes. Easier said than done...yes...but I will try.

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