It’s a given. Some times I HAVE to share parenting stories. Some times I feel compelled to.
I haven’t started going grey. Yet.
I have a feeling that with what happened yesterday that might change.
I’m a pretty laid-back mom. That hasn’t always been the case, but having 5 children that at one time were 5 years of age and under changed all of that.
My goal went from being….well, I’m not sure what my philosophy was back then-I can’t remember. But, it changed. I started trying not to sweat-the-small-stuff and instead focus my break-downs/freak-outs on the big stuff. I did formulate a bottom line. I want to keep my kids ALIVE and out of harm until they fly out of my nest. Happy too. I want them to be happy and feel loved and be safe. That’s my bottom line.
My youngest. And my second youngest. They’ll be the death of me. I swear. Never in the history of mothering my other children have I been so worn down and stressed out. I’m pretty sure that from the moment that little fertilized egg split (which was later than I would have recommended, by the way), those little boys put their heads together and plotted. Plotted ways of changing me (they’ve successful done that-but in a good way for the most part) and making my hair turn prematurely grey. For kicks. I think they somehow know that their pregnancy, premature birth and growth thus far has made me a more thankful mommy than I was before but also a busier one, and for years a sleep deprived one. But one without grey hair. Surely some of my locks should have turned a silvery shade by now, and up until yesterday, they hadn’t, and I’m pretty sure that’s about to change.
Yesterday number 5 of 5 disappeared on me at Target while I was making my purchases. One minute he was there, the next he was Gone. Gone. Gone. Not only did he slip past me, he slipped past 4 of his siblings. It happened so fast that I thought there was no possible way he could have made it out the doors, right into a busy parking lot. No, I didn’t even consider it. The first thing I did was station number 1 of 5 in front of the large panel of electronic doors with orders to stop 5 of 5 (I’m borrowing this number system from the original Octamom) if he should try to go outside. Then I promptly alerted the Target employees that I had lost a child. Luckily I had 4 of 5 so that I could say, “I’ve lost my son and he looks exactly like this (pointing to 4 of 5)”.
I fully expected to find 5 of 5 at one of the candy endcaps. You know, the one’s that are right by the registers that kids can’t resist?
And then the worst thing happened, and also the best. The best thing that happened is that a man walked inside the doors of the store holding 5 of 5’s hand. This wonderful man knew who John belonged to (I guess we are pretty hard to miss) when he spied him outside all alone and afraid. This thoughtful man took John by the hand and said, “Let’s go find your mommy”. And John took his hand and was safely restored to me, inside.
The worst thing is that John was outside. In a busy parking lot. And he’s three years old. He was outside while his stupid mom was inside looking for him by the candy. A stranger took his hand and told him what he needed to hear. Luckily, that man was was a good person and did what he promised. BUT. What if he didn’t? What if he didn’t? John would have happily held his hand and let the stranger lead him anywhere, if he thought it was to me. He could have been hit by a car. He could have been abducted (he IS cute, you know-I could see why someone else would want him). And I was inside. That’s why I think I might go grey.
Nothing happened. The situation turned out to not even really be a situation. But it was, because thinking about what could have been makes my knees go weak. And quite possibly my hair grey. We’ll see. Yes, we’ll see.