faith · fear · mommy guilt · scary stuff

There’s A Limit.

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.

4 thoughts on “There’s A Limit.

  1. Poor Little Man and poor Mama!

    I am sorry for the pain that both of you went though during this ordeal.

    You are so right…only God can fully protect us and our children.

    Praying for you!


  2. I remember learning that same lesson with LB….that I can't shield and protect her from everything. She is going to experience pain. It's just part of life. It does hurt a Mama's heart to realize that, but like you said, we have to trust them to the One who can, and will, always protect them.

    Don't beat yourself up over running. It's called instinct to run!!! As humans we are programmed to “fight or flight” and that certainly is a “flight” situation! The fact you DID scoop up LM is what matters….if you had run all the way to the house without thought of him that might have been cause for concern 🙂 But you did what any mom would do – save her child!!

    Glad LM is okay.


  3. Aww, Rachel you didn't do anything wrong! You can NOT protect LM from everything, AND, even had you gone back and grabbed him, he still very well may have gotten stung, and you still very well may not have. You can not beat yourself up over this!!!
    And for what it's worth, I do exactly what you did when there are bees or spiders. I scream and run and THEN go back for my kiddos. I feel like a bad parent, but I know that I'm not! And neither are you! Keep your chin up momma! You are a great momma and LM is very lucky to have you!!!


  4. I'm not sure any mama would know the exact right thing to do in that situation—or that it would come naturally, anyway. Fight or flight, right? I'm not equipped to fight hornets (what would I need for that, anyway?), so the flight would kick in. But who knew that your training would have practical applications? I'd be on the ground on top of my kid getting the heck stung out of me because I can't carry him and run at the same time. So you totally win the awesome mommy award for that!


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