Something To Watch Over Me
Despite the fact that I attended Catholic school for 12 years, I am not a religious zealot. Having to recite the Stations of the Cross each Easter season did not convert me to a life of Christian living. I’m not a bad person, but I don’t attend Church every Sunday and question the logistics behind organized religion. But before you label me as the devil incarnate, I do still have faith and personally believe in God or what can be described as perhaps a greater spiritual existence beyond our physical world as we know it. And I actually believe in the suggestive power of humans to alter the course of events, such as through praying, meditation or by the power of will. I think the spiritual world is all around us, and maybe less literally placed in “Heaven”. I think they are all around us because sometimes things happen to you that make you believe we all have a guardian angel walking among us to help us alter those course of events. Or for the non-believers, you could call what I have an extreme case of mother’s intuition. As will be illustrated by the following story.
CJ, Andrew and I were all in their bedroom a few weekends ago, going through a big box of pictures. Andrew was playing with a toy that looped the same song over and over, with buttons and lights, teaching all about the continents of the world. It was an unusually calm moment, and we all became lost in our own project. CJ and I were lost in our trip down memory lane, unearthing a lot of pictures of him when he was a baby:
Sifting through the pictures, out of nowhere I experienced a sense of urgency and my blood rushed through to the tips of my fingers. Something out of thin air directed my attention to the other side of the room. The globe that Andrew had been playing with was still looping the same song and phrase, “You’re a world traveler…”. But Andrew wasn’t there.
Dropping the pictures from my hand, I leaped up from my crossed-leg position on the floor and ran out of the room, with a cloud of pictures in my wake. When I got to the hallway, he was sitting there like a kitten on the ledge of a skyscraper. If I made him laugh, he might fall over, if I made him cry, he might fall over, I run too fast, he might move away and fall down the stairs. Repressing my emotion to yelp, I walked evenly and quickly toward him, scooped him up from the top step he was sitting on, and promptly held him close to my heart, wanting to never let go.
As my knees gave out from under me, we took a seat on the carpeted floor, and with my heart still racing and my voice cracking, I couldn’t help but think of all the terrible things that could have happened if I hadn’t picked him up at that very instant. His legs were dangling over the edge of the top step of our stairs, and he was an instant away from tumbling down. And tumbling down to what? Sure death? A broken neck? Who knows. Maybe he wouldn’t have been hurt at all, although I doubt that very much. CJ was also scared at this point, so I thought it best to calm down and put a smile on things, to lighten up the tense moment a little. Of course, this entire scene lasted about 15 seconds, although it felt like an eternity.
And why don’t we have a gate at the top of the stairs? Frankly, because Andrew has not been that mobile, and when we are upstairs with the kids they are usually playing in their room or we are keeping a close watch. I got so mad at myself for slipping in my motherly duties for that moment, that moment that was surely saved by a guardian angel. How did I lose the eyes in the back of my hand for the moment that he scooted (he doesn’t crawl, but scoots around on his tush) out of the room?
Having another child has completely changed life in so many ways. Just when you think you’ve got everything covered, something else shakes your world. The fact they are 4 years apart, the attention they need is so different, and there’s the constant juggling act of taking care of their needs simultaneously that gets me so tried sometimes. It surely felt like a defeat for me when I took my eyes away from him that afternoon, but I couldn’t help but think there had been a larger force at work here, too. I’m not saying I “saw the light”, actually I felt reassured to know that we were being protected. And thankful that something had whispered over my shoulder that day. But what that something is, I don’t know.