Be weary of your time
Here’s the story. The kids and I were coming downstairs. I lifted the baby gate, and the latching mechanism fell apart in my hands. It happens all the time and takes two seconds to fix. Nevin ran ahead. Scarlett, who has gotten pretty good at stairs, turned around to follow him. We have two steps, then a large landing, and then six steps, so the two steps are kind of like a buffer zone to get down in front of her before she tries for the larger set of steps. Even though the voice in my head said, mind your baby, I paused on the landing to fix the baby gate. The baby gate that takes two seconds to fix. I rushed, I multi-tasked. She caught her foot on the landing. She started to fall. My hands were full, fixing the baby gate that takes two seconds to fix. I couldn’t drop it fast enough. She rolled the whole way down and I couldn’t catch her.
It gets worse. Yesterday, I thought that she was fussing every time I put her down because she’d been at day care all week and wanted to be on my hip. I thought she was just being clingy and I wasn’t particularly sympathetic. No. She was crying because mommy was trying to make her stand on a broken leg. Mother-of-the-year, right here. I didn’t take her to the doctor until this morning - after I told Shawn about the stairs and he connected all the dots for me. Thank God one of us is on the ball.
Here’s the lesson in all of this: be weary of your time. How often in a day do you think you can squeeze just one more thing in, even when there is a little voice in you head saying stop? Most of the time, you can, you did, and the world marches on. But sometimes you can’t and it doesn’t. And you remember, too late, that all those other times, you were just lucky. I’ll just wash this one last dish. I’ll just run in and out, it’ll take me three seconds. I’ll just check that one last email. I’ll just fix this baby gate; it takes two seconds. Stop. Do what you set out to do, stop trying to squeeze it all in, and listen to that voice. I didn’t yesterday, and all I keep thinking is: it could’ve been her head.