I turned my back for three seconds.
We all know this story, right?
It was crowded on the playground; the kids were running in packs like freed animals in the summer air. I turned around and lost sight of my three year old. I didn’t panic since this has happened before. I usually get a sightline if I scan the usual spots: the play house, the water fountain, the large tree on the other side of the wall.
So I start to walk around and begin searching, looking inside the tunnels and under the slide and start asking around.
And then I see one of my friends running down the hill, my son in his arms.
“He was in the middle of the road.” He tells me, panting. “The truck stopped short of him and the driver got out to make sure he was ok. My heart is going a mile a minute.”
He is fine. My son is fine. And I am eternally grateful to my friend who saw my son and tore after him.
I keep telling myself this, but it doesn’t make it better. I want to cry and kick things at the same time. My three year old is oblivious to how serious the situation is. My husband and I tried to talk to him. He plainly does not understand.
“How do we teach him a lesson about this?” I asked my husband when we got home.
“It’s not a lesson for him, babe. He doesn’t understand. This is a lesson for us.”
It was almost a much harder lesson.