We had a lot to prepare before hosting a party. My mind kept jumping from one thing to the next, leaving me agitated. I worked so hard weeding flowerbeds I hadn’t gotten to in years and I wanted to put some mulch down. Life with kids is crazy, its hard to finish what you start, but I was determined to complete a few gardening projects before this party. The first place we stopped at didn't have any bags of mulch so we drove to another place. Getting three kids in and out of the car for a quick stop is exhausting, but we always do it. I’ve read too many horror stories about people calling the police on moms just running in to grab something so I always bring them in and lets face it, I would be that horror story. We got to the next place and hopped out of the car. Mike went to talk to the owner and I looked at some of the plants as I followed him over. I looked up and noticed he wasn't holding our 7-month-old Crosby. My eyes darted around, my stomach squirmed, my heart practically beat right out of my chest. THE BABY!!! Where is the baby??
I turned and ran like a crazed person to the car. Opened the door and there he was sucking on his hands. It had only been a minute but if felt like forever. And my heart sunk. The shame just seeped in. How could I not have known? I'm a terrible mom. I always wondered how people left their babies in the car. And now I know. It just happens and it's horrifying. I am so stupid. And this went on and on and on in my mind.
We got home and I went about the rest of my day completing all the tasks I had on my mind and I didn't think much about it. I tend to want to forget traumatic situations anyways, so it’s almost easy for me to tune it out and move on like it never happened.
Crosby had trouble going to sleep that night. I brought him in Celia and Hugo’s room while I tried to get them to sleep. We surrounded Crosby with their stuffed animals and he giggled away. I felt joyful watching the kids giggle with him and enjoy having him in their bed.
As I said goodnight to the others and walked out of their room with Crosby, I had a moment of gratitude for my sweet little rainbow baby. There is no one like him. He cracks me up most days, makes the funniest sounds and is Mr. Happy. In that moment I realized I am not a bad mom, I am not dumb, I don't hate myself. That's shame talking. I feel extremely guilty, terrible in fact. But no one is perfect and the reality is this could happen to anyone. And I thank God for reminding me of the truth and keeping my baby safe. I am grateful for the light when my head tends to go dark.
Sometimes it takes a big event like this to remember you are enough and even though life can get pretty messy, the beauty is always there. You have to keep looking for it even when you really don't want to or know how. I encourage you to open up your eyes to the world around you. Look for the little things. Laugh. Don’t let shame come in and break you down, you are strong and those are lies you are telling yourself. You are worthy and loved. Let the light in.