It's a gorgeous day for a family picnic.
The Sun is shining. The Sky is a glorious blue dappled with fluffy white clouds.
I am sitting down at a picnic table enjoying the warm Spring breeze and smile as I take in the scenery.
At the other side of the park, The Mouse is being held by the Matriarch of this Family gathering. All around Her family members travel between the tables with their plates of food, while children run and play weaving in between the grown-ups who effortlessly step out of their way as if guided by some parental radar.
A member of my Friend's family approaches me. We chat about the day and what a beautiful Baby I have. I do not know Her name but she is a pleasant woman and I feel comfortable in her presence as I do with the other Family members.
I glance across the park to check on The Mouse and see the Grandmother. Her arms are empty. She no doubt has passed the Baby off to another doting Family member.
The Mouse is an easy baby. She will happily go to anyone.
I stand up from my seat to get a better view of the park. I scan the crowd looking for my Baby Daughter.
The Aunt remains at my side and helps me with my search. We don't see Her anywhere.
I decide to walk towards the Grandmother. I will ask her who has my Baby.
I am sure She is fine but with the exception of my Girlfriend, her Mother and Grandmother everyone else here is a Stranger to me.
As I am walking and scanning the crowd for my Baby, I see The Boy across the street with my Friend's Cousin.
I walk across to retrieve Him.
I do not know how he got over there but I'd rather He play in the park with the rest of us.
I begin to escort him back across the Street.
The Boy is 3 years old.
He has a bit of a willful side to him. More and more he wants to do things His way. Instead of walking in the crosswalk back to the park-side of the street he starts to take a diagonal route.
I trail behind trying to guide him across the street quickly.
His pace quickens as I get closer. He keeps just beyond my reach.
I tell him to slow down and hold my hand.
He starts to run because he is a Big Boy and Willful and wants.to.walk.this.way.
I panic and Yell for him to hold my hand and do.not.run.away.from.me.while.we.are.crossing.the.street.
This only makes Him run faster.
I try to grab the back of his collar but he remains just out of reach.
He doesn't see the car coming from the opposite direction. He is too preoccupied with running from me and exercising his own independence.
He stops only after colliding with the side of the vehicle.
His body falls down across the double yellow line of the street.
I scream and drop down over him.
I resist the urge to scoop him up in my arms and run to the sidewalk. I know not to move him but every maternal instinct inside me is telling me to pick my Little Man up and cradle him in my arms. To kiss the Boo-Boo away.
But all I can do is scream. Scream his name, and NO and OH.MY.GOD.WHY.
I Scream and I Wait.
Wait for the ambulance. wait for my my Husband. Wait for Someone. ANYONE to tell me my Boy is going to be OK.
Wait for Him to open his eyes look at me and say I am OK Mommy.
At the Hospital he is still unconscious. His little body lies motionless on the gurny which brought him in.
Monitors blink and beep. The Doctor hovers over him.
He will need a transfusion. That's all. Just a little something to help with the blood trauma.
I then realize that I still do not know where The Mouse is.
I am uncertain if She was ever found and who might have Her.
The Boy will be fine but where now is My Baby.
I open my eyes.
My alarm clock reads 6:54am.
I get out of bed retrieve The Mouse from her crib and quietly nurse her as my head reels from the images still bouncing around in my mind. I cuddle her close inspecting every inch of her little body. Yes She is here with me and she is Fine.
Moments later The Boy emerges from his Room.
Good Morning, Mommy.
I pull Him to me and bury my nose in his hair and take in the sweet smell of his sleep as I try to recover from the worst nightmare I have ever had since becoming a Parent.
What's your worst nightmare?