If you're a parent, then you've probably been there. The moment you realize that you lost your child.
It happened to me. In my home. Sort of.
Let me set the scene. We allow our son, who is 2 years old, to play on our screened-in back porch unsupervised. On this particular morning, I could hear him playing, and playing, and playing, and then silence. But it was one of those moments where the silence didn't hit me until it had been minutes of silence.
I'm sick to my stomach even thinking about it.
What made this moment so awfully nightmarish is when I realized that he was outside and we live only feet away from a busy road.
Sick. Sick. Sick.
I was nursing my daughter at the time. I flew out of the house, with her still attached. The minute I realized he was gone, I yanked her off and set her down. I set her down so fast that she fell over and hit her head. She was screaming. I was screaming. As I ran down the back steps into our backyard, I heard the cars rushing by. I kept screaming and screaming.
And then I saw him.
He was running my way, parallel to the street.
Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you. Thank you.
He was safe. He was alive. And apparently he had been having the time of his life.
He was covered, absolutely covered, in mud.
I didn't care. I scooped him up so fast, and finally, I breathed.
It was then that it hit me that my heart was racing and my baby girl was on the ground, still screaming.
But I couldn't let go of him. I just couldn't.
I had just endured the absolute worst moment of my life.
As it turns out, I had failed to lock the back door (he can open the door if it's not locked). You better believe that I'm obsessive-compulsive about locking that door now.
Hours after the incident I was still edgy. No longer shaking, but I could still feel the pit in my stomach.
The thought of losing my son had become a reality. If even for a minute, it was a reality that I never, ever want to experience again.