It was the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend, and I woke up with every intention of spending the day outside. The weather was absolutely perfect, and for once, the chores were all finished the night before. I woke up, packed the snack bag, the medicine bag, and the sunscreen, dressed myself and my kids in matching tye-dyed shirts I made for the entire family last summer, and headed out the door for Dream Park in Fort Worth.
If you’ve ever been to Dream Park you know that it is a massive play space with multiple playgrounds and very quickly you can lose track of multiples who tend to run in opposite directions. So instead of sitting still and watching a single child, I walked the park and kept track of which child was at each playground. I didn’t stop to swing a child, or play with a child like I normally would at smaller parks, but I (almost) always knew where each of my 3 children were located.
About 1 hour into our visit, I rallied the troops and sat everyone down for snacks. We talked about how much fun they were having on the playground, while re-hydrating and filling their little tummies. After just a few minutes, they were refueled and ready to play.
This time though, they all took off running in the same direction. All 3, unlike before, ran not only to the same play space, but to the same exact location. It was at this moment that I was able to stop and play with the kids.
As I helped my youngest (singleton) cross the obstacle that seemed so effortless to his older brothers, one of the twins yelled, “Momma, watch this!” I was feet away and looked up just in time to watch him miss the step and land face first on the stairs in front of him. As he stood up, I knew something was majorly wrong. I grabbed him, cradled his little body, looked at the man next to me and calmly said, “Call 9-11.”
The events that followed were incredible and are certainly worth writing about, but as we go through the summer, I want to leave you with a bit of wisdom and encouragement.
When with your children, put your phone down and be present. So often, we get caught up in what’s going on outside of our immediate reality, and we miss things that could be life changing, or even life threatening. I am also guilty of not being fully present 100% of the time and am thankful that at the moment of the most traumatic event in my son’s life, I was right by his side. I was there to watch whatever silly stunt he was about to pull. I was there to watch him conquer the obstacle and to see his confidence rise just a little when he made it to the other side. But most importantly I was with him on what has been the most traumatizing day of his life, and although I fully give God full credit for the prompting, it is only because on that day, I left my phone in the car.
Put away the technology this summer, and live in the present. Make memories, even if they land you in the ER.
Sara is a mom to four year old twins, a two year old, and a bonus mom to a twelve and thirteen year old. She is a Christian social media influencer, and serves on the praise and worship team at Birdville Baptist Church.