This morning, after Roo’s nap, I was getting a bit stir crazy. The girls were all over the place. Yesterday was a Bad Day. The kind with Yelling and Crying and I don’t wanna do this anymore.
The only way today was going to be any different was if I got us out of this house.
Since the weather has finally dipped below the typical balmy EIGHTY DEGREES HOLY FRAK, I piled everyone in the double stroller and we set out for a walk to the mall.
The trip to the mall was pleasant enough, but it was the last 3 minutes of the walk home that I’m wanting to get at here, so insert your own favorite mall story here |——|
Vio was out of the stroller, helping push, and Roo was bouncing along happily. We passed a house one street over that Vio calls the Horton Flower House, because the yard is always full of purple floofy dandelion type things. (I’m, like, totally a botany GODDESS.) Then,
“Hey Mommy, that looks like my ball!”
And, it was, in fact, her ball. A beach ball, roughly the size of Roo, from Vio’s first birthday party. Everyone who came signed it with little messages to her. To say this ball is a treasured object in our home is a gross understatement. She ran over and gathered it up … I can only assume it blew out of our yard last weekend when my family took her out to play during Sink Fiasco 2K9. (They are unfamiliar with the Big Pink Ball Doesn’t Go Outside rule. I guess. Probably because it’s a rule I just made up this afternoon. Whatever. They should have known.)
I’m not sure how you react in these sorts of situations, but my immediate course of action is for my thoughts to snowball into What Might Have Happened If.
What if I hadn’t decided to take a walk today? What if I had taken the other route through the neighborhood?
Granted, it is JUST a ball, and all that, but I’m not one for keeping a ton of mementos; the ones I do keep are very important to me.
I can still remember being around nine years old and going out to the front yard to play. I almost didn’t go out, thinking I might play Barbies or watch TV or whatever the heck it is I did for fun when I was nine. I ran out to the sidewalk and looked to my right, and I saw — running quick as she could the other direction — our family dog. My dad, as he so often did, left the side door to the garage open, and she had gotten out. I chased after her and brought her back to the house, but I still, TO THIS VERY MOMENT, wonder what might have happened if I hadn’t gone outside that day. It literally kept me up at night, the image of those tiny feet trotting away, so carefree and without aim.
(This isn’t where this post was supposed to go, but here we are! I was going to include another story about how Vio almost lost what would become her most treasured possession only to have it miraculously returned to her one month later, and then spin that into how comforting it is to know that things lost aren’t always lost for good, but I bet it would have been cheesy and made us all lose our lunch, and that just seems a horrid way to start out the weekend. But I digress. From my digression. Holy hotcakes, let’s move on.)
But I wish I could turn off that part of my brain sometimes. I don’t like immediately plummeting into a worst case scenario that could have happened but didn’t … there are enough bad things ACTUALLY happening in the world, that it seems unnecessary to create fictitious ones.
I’m ending on a question here, because I’m sincerely curious: How do you guys react to close calls? Are you just grateful, or do you dwell on what might have happened?