Today my two-and-a half year old son ran full tilt into the street. He was laughing, running as fast as he could away from me, and didn't have a care in the world. My heart, on the other hand, nearly stopped. So did nearly every other parents' that saw it.
At the time, Wyatt and I were enjoying ourselves at a local playground with two little friends (and their parents) from our co-op preschool who were generously hosting a play date in celebration of the fact that their mom was finishing her final chemo treatment for breast cancer today. All of us who were invited, which was a good-sized group, had been a part of the family's support system in some way over the past many weeks. They are a lovely family, and Wyatt and I were thrilled to celebrate with them today.
It probably goes without saying that the day would have been much more enjoyable without my toddler's death-defying stunt.
As I replay the whole scene in my mind (which I'm having trouble not doing) . . . him running away from me . . . too far ahead and too fast to catch . . . me scanning the street for oncoming cars . . . and him unwilling to stop despite my commands to do so . . . .
I can't help but think, "what if."
The bottom line is that today has reminded me about the precariousness of our lives. How quickly bad or scary things can happen when we least expect. How out of control we really are. And how valuable time is with those we care about.
There's no telling how long we have on this planet -- or how long we get to spend it together. So here's my thinking: Hug your people and tell them what they mean to you. And be proud of how you live your days. They matter.