Last night we had dinner at my parents’. After dinner, Little Man wanted to go for a walk, and he wanted mommy to go with him. We walked across the backyard to the pond on the golf course. Then we decided to cross a few greens to check out the other pond.
The sprinklers (prinkilers in two year old) were coming on, so we started walking along the cart path. We came to a crossroads, and I let LM choose which way to go. And along we went.
We came upon a ball wash station. At first, he was fascinated enough by the rough metal thing used to clean your shoes. But then he saw the ball washer. And the world slowed to stop motion.
He turned the crank.
Angry hornets literally poured from the bottom.
I screamed, “run!”
He started to run.
Hornets were everywhere.
I turned to grab him.
He had been stung, but I didn’t know where or how many times.
His face….he looked so scared, and so hurt, and so confused.
His cries….fear and pain and who knows what else.
I scooped him up and ran, ran, ran. I have never been more grateful for my marathon training than right then. I could see the house, and my parents, and Keith, but they looked tiny and far away.
As I ran down the final green, Keith stood up and heard me yelling. My stepmom ran into the house and made a paste of seasoning salt and water. By the time we were on the porch, Keith and I had determined LM had only been stung twice on one leg.
Within five minutes he was calm but clingy. Within ten minutes he was happily eating chocolate kisses. Within fifteen minutes he was running around showing off. Within two hours he was sound asleep, curled up with his lovies in his crib.
I felt (feel) guilty. I didn’t get stung. I ran away initially. For all of half of a second I ran away from the hornets.
And my child.
What kind of mother am I? I suggested we walk on the path. I let him play with the ball wash.
I ran away.
As I tried to sleep last night (a call to poison control settled my fears he would have an overnight allergic reaction; not having medical history will cause those kinds of concerns), I realized I am most upset I cannot spare him from pain.
There is a limit to my ability to shield him, to protect him. I cannot always be there, or be there fast enough, to stop whatever unpleasant is headed his way.
I know I have to trust God to protect my son. There may be a limit to the protection I can offer, but there is no limit to the protection He can offer.
But it’s a hard lesson to learn. My mama heart is still tender today.