Last summer, my husband Bob, 15 year old daughter Melissa and I spent a well-deserved mini get away in New York City. Our original plan had been to merely hop on the train on Sunday for the 90 minute ride to the city, catch a show, then return home the same day. However, thanks to a discount website, Bob found a relatively inexpensive hotel, so off we went on Saturday morning to enjoy the sights and sounds of the "Big Apple" for an entire weekend.
When Sunday afternoon came, my little family stood wearily in the massive lobby of New York's Penn Station, staring at the giant board, waiting for the flashing signal to indicate that boarding had begun. The return trip proved uneventful. Melissa listened to her iPod shuffle, Bob slept, while I nurtured my Facebook habit.
Upon arrival at the station in Hamilton, NJ, we absentmindedly dragged our luggage up the stairs, down the sidewalk, then into the elevator for the brief ride to the third floor of the parking garage. As we began the journey towards our car located several feet away on the other side of the massive structure, I suddenly heard an insanely loud, terrifying, screeching sound. For reasons unexplained, my brain processed the frightening noise as an out of control car on the garage level above us....careening its way down the ramp with the sole intention of harming my child.
At that moment, genetically induced "mom behavior" took over! I would not let a runaway car hurt my little girl. I instinctively held out my hands and gave Melissa a big, strong, push...assuring she would be out of harm's way and leaving myself directly in the path of 3,000 tons of moving metal.
My daughter's response to my life saving behavior? "Mom, WHAT THE HECK?!"
I looked around. Neither mother nor child had been injured by a possessed vehicle. The "danger" I had shielded her from proved merely to be the sound of an approaching train.
We were in a train station, after all.
Feeling somewhat sheepish, I returned to the car and attempted to ignore the taunts of my husband and daughter who dared to call me............OVER PROTECTIVE!
Yes, I admit, it's true. I am overprotective, yet I wear the title proudly.
Despite our best efforts, 24-hour protection of our offspring is a task beyond reach. For at some point, we have to let them out of our field of vision and just pray that in the hours when we are not at their side that they are safe and happy and that soon enough, they will return to our loving embrace.
It seems logical for parents of young babes to experience these notions, but what my
As a toddler, my Melissa never left my side. The simple act of me leaving the room resulted in my baby's inconsolable tears. Today, those tears are more likely to result from embarrassment, as I still insist on peeking out the window every morning to ensure she does, indeed, actually board the bus that takes her to high school every day, an activity that has resulted in my teen giving me the title of "stalker".
I would proudly admit to being a stalker, if it means protecting my baby from harm.
I would proudly jump in front of a careening, out of control vehicle, if it means protecting my baby from harm.
I would proudly stand facing a mad man, feeling the brunt of hundreds of bullets, as 20 sets of parents in Connecticut certainly wished they'd had the opportunity to do......if it meant protecting their babies from harm.
My heart aches for the families of the beautiful children and adults who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
I dedicate this blog to you.