When my son Ryan was nearly two I accidentally locked him in the car outside our apartment. Panicked, I used my neighbors phone to call first my husband then AAA. It all was a blur and Ryan didn’t really mind much. I remember making funny faces at him and playing peek-a-boo while tears burned behind my eyes. The whole thing took about 15-20 minutes, which seems like hours. When we were finally inside our home Ryan happily played with his toys and the day just sort of kept going. I remember feeling awful and then taking a better note of holding on to my keys when getting myself and my child in and out of our car.
They tell you “Don’t worry! These things happen.”
Yesterday after packing up my trunk with stuff I bought at Target, I put Mila in her car seat and then threw my keys and wallet in the front seat. Once Mila was buckled in, I closed the door and walked around to the drivers side to find out that my car had locked itself. It had locked itself with my child and keys (and phone) within it. In a matter of one second I fell into a deep panic and started to scream. Which I know now, wasn’t the best. I immediately found someone to help me. She was a mom herself and was carrying her own two year old on her hip. She let me borrow her phone to call the one number I know by heart, (my husband’s) for help. She stayed with me and Mila until my husband came with my extra set of car keys. She and her child made funny faces and played peek-a-book with Mila. She was calm, cool, collected and so very kind. Let's hear it for moms helping moms out!
She kept telling me “Don’t worry! These things happen.”
Once my husband came to the rescue, I swung open the car door and squeezed Mila so tight. She was fine, though she cried nearly the whole time she was locked in the car. I kept telling her how sorry I was and that I loved her. To which she replied “Me too!” She has started to say “Me too!” now whenever we tell her that we love her.
It is one hundred percent true that these small mistakes happen and can either make us laugh or cry or both. They teach us things, mostly they teach us to slow down. Though this all happened yesterday I am still shook about it and can’t help but feel like a lousy mother. Which I know isn’t true. I just can’t help but feel dumpy about doing this now to both my kids, ironically when they were both the same age. Also, whenever something happens to Mila, even when she has a small fever, something inside me kicks into anxious panic riddled with fear. I’m reminded of how life is so very fragile and if anything happens to Mila so help me God … I, well I just wouldn’t be able to handle it. My brain starts thinking the worst and to be honest I spiral down, down, down.
Is it because I am pained by the loss of my son? Is it because I lost my son and I know all too well that we can lose someone we care about in a matter of minutes? All I know is that I love my kids with every cell in my body. When I think about how much I love them both my skin ignites with warm pin pricks all over. And when I accidentally lock them in my car I can’t help but beat myself up about it. Thats it. Thats all I am feeling at the moment and it is taking me a few days to shake it off I guess.
I will tell you “Don’t worry! These things happen.” but I’ll also put my hand on your back and let you know that I feel your anguish and fear. I know how much you love your children and though this shit does happen, it is OK to feel crappy about it for a bit.
And with that, I feel grateful for my grief because it makes me more aware of how precious this life is.
Photo by Lily Ro Photography
Mila's Dress Up Clothes by Lovelane Designs