I had one of those close calls with Becca today that just really made my heart stop.
Becca is now officially walking and enjoys doing it whenever she can. This is all well and good when we are in the house, library or some other enclosed place. However, it becomes more complicated when I am running errands or just trying to walk down the sidewalk with her.
She just doesn’t get that we are on a journey that starts at Point A (the car) and ends at Point B (the store). Instead, her journey is in the details– ‘hmm… there is a blue shiny metal thing over there… let me take a closer look’ or ‘there’s a piece of a cookie on the floor over there… maybe I can grab it.’ I try to build in a little extra time for the wandering nature of her walking but it can become a little exasperating and often leads her in the completely wrong direction.
Besides, taking an exorbinant amount of time to walk 25 feet, Becca’s hands can be a little difficult to hold. She is bundled up in her winter coat and is often wearing mittens. As a result, I have to search around to find her hand and it seems to easily slip out of mine. It doesn’t help that she often chooses to try to use that hand to try to pick up the stale piece of bagel or squished up piece of gum from the sidewalk (ewwwwww!).
Knowing how difficult it can be to walk with Becca, I am extra vigilant whenever I am walking with her and I try to keep the trips short and sweet. She and I were killing some time while her grandma was at the dentist and I decided to grab a Starbucks. I was able to park a few doors down from the Starbucks and I figured it would be easy enough to walk in and out with her. I wasn’t in a big hurry so I wouldn’t mind if it took us 20 minutes to walk a few feet.
We did fine on the way into the store. Becca did become fascinated with the light pole and the newspaper dispenser but she was easily distracted. Once we were inside she was really sweet. She stood in line and waved and ‘talked’ to the people around her. I was able to order and pick-up my order without too much trouble. I placed my order in a bag so I was able to carry it more easily.
On the way out, we did pretty well until we got to the car. As we approached the car, my cell phone rang. I grabbed it because I knew the dentist was calling to tell me my MIL was ready. Instead of the quick exchange I expected,”Martha’s ready.”; “Okay, I’ll be right there.”, the receptionist started asking me all kinds of questions about Martha’s treatments. I was so thrown off that I actually tried answering the questions (huge mistake) as I continued to make my way to our car. The receptionist continued to bombard me with questions until I finally had the sense to tell her I would call her back. As I hung up, I realized that Becca had slipped out of my hand.
I immediately looked towards the sidewalk (I was standing next to the car) and didn’t see her. I quickly whipped around to see Becca blissfully walking towards the traffic. I was able to grab her just as she reached the end of our car and watched two SUVs whiz past us. They would never even have seen her if she had made it to the street.
As I stood there for a few minutes watching the traffic drive by, I couldn’t help but replay the other possible scenarios. I then began to berate myself for answering the cell phone and becoming distracted for even a minute. As I was buckling Becca into her car seat, I realized that life is distracting and it is easy to get caught off guard.