Sometimes we think we’ve lost something, but it comes back to us. Unlike my train of thought in this post.

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 |——|

Well done.

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?

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8 Comments

Filed under My girls, Not even kidding, Probably too serious

8 responses to “Sometimes we think we’ve lost something, but it comes back to us. Unlike my train of thought in this post.

  1. Jeff

    For me I look at the positive, and say everything happens for a reason.

    • Well isn’t that special. 😉

      Honestly, I do believe everything happens for a reason. I’m speaking more to the situations where everything turned out fine, but almost didn’t. WHAT IF IT HADN’T? Just can’t kick the thought. That you can get around that seriously impresses me.

  2. Ian

    A while back I blogged about the road trip Lisa and I took to meet Tad Williams in college (totally not a plug). I talked about pulling up outside a hotel front entrance, with another car pulled up twenty yards in front of us, and how I got out the passenger side door and was just about to cross in front of our car to go inside when the other car started to back toward us.

    Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I’d have just kept going around the front of our car, on the assumption that the other car backing towards was going to, you know, STOP before he got to us. But he didn’t. He was totally unaware we were there, and he just kept going until he slammed, at a good fifteen to twenty miles an hour, into Lisa’s front fender.

    I don’t know why it was that I paused and waited for the car to stop before I went. But for weeks and weeks afterward, all I could think of was, what if I hadn’t? Because it was really out of character for me to do so. I’d’ve never walked again, of that much I’m certain. Well, or the motion of me running through his rearview mirror might have got the driver to hit the brakes, and the whole accident could have been avoided.

    Beyond that, I don’t know that there’s really too much that I think about like that. The big nexus-of-possibilities in my life is, of course, whether or not my family move to America when I was seven or stay in Britain. But that’s somewhat nebulous–I mean, I don’t really know what it would have been like to be a teenager in Britain in the 90s. So I can’t pretend that I never consider it, but there’s really not much of substance I can take it from it, you know?

    • That is one that would definitely get to me, too. (I’ve also been the person sitting in the car that gets backed straight into. NOT a fun place to be.)

  3. I try very hard to avoid thinking about those what ifs. I think I succeed about half the time, and end up constructing glorious tragedies out of them the other half.

  4. I worry. I imagine. I GO THERE to the dark places of what ifs and could’ve beens. When I see people grieve I imagine what I would do and I end up grieving pretty hard myself. When I have a close call I am so thankful but still I imagine what might have happened. It’s horrible and I try not to do this… but sometimes it’s too real, too close, too scary and my mind trips down a lane that leaves me saying “WTF Girl? Why are you here?” Sometimes it’s a good thing because it forces me to have “action plans” for likely and unlikely situations. For instance I have it planned out what I would do if I were to get in a car accident on a bridge and have my car fall over the edge and plummet in to the water. After watching Myth Busters and thinking about it all based on my kids’ ages, sizes and abilities, I know what I would do if I weren’t seriously injured. I have to drive in the far-most middle-ish lane on bridges now, if possible. Happy thoughts no? This is just one example. I have lots more. When I was a kid it was fire. I’m terrified of fire. I’d imagine my house burning down around me. And I had plans, escape plans with if this, then this, else this statements. Now? I have those same plans but they involve whether Joby is home, where the fire would be in relation to my kids and how quickly it’d take me to break windows to get to them. Tornados is another “action plan” of terrification. I had a close call about a year ago when a tornado was spotted on radar about 10 miles from my home, headed north and we were pretty much in its path. I was driving home, almost there when I heard it on the radio. I was with my two kids and hot damn I was terrified. I called Joby and while on the phone with him I took less than 2 minutes to find flashlights, pillows, a portable DVD player, diapers, drinks, snacks, the boys’ favorite blankets and animals, and my MP3 Player with headphones and hauled us all in to hubs’ closet, the safest, no windows, near the bathroom plumbing, interior room I could get to. It turned out it was just a doplar tornado near my house but it went overhead about 3 miles away and after it was past me it touched down and did very minimal damage. But I was prepared to be caved in in the closet until Joby could get to us. 2 minutes. I kid you not. I was terrified.

    My dark and twisty brain? Action plans, right? Good things.

    Also? I did not intend to write an entire blog post in your comments.

    My bad.

    • Oh my goodness. I am showing this to Matt. Maybe it will make him feel better. You have seriously just described ME. We are totes Panic Twins. Car off a bridge plan, tornado plan, fire plan — ALL OF IT.

      It’s probably not the best kind of twins to be, though.

      And NO APOLOGIES. Long comments make the world go ’round.