The One Moment That Changed All the Others

The One Moment

This is the post no mama wants to write.

Last Thursday at 1:05 PM, my 3-year-old son fell out a window. I was finishing up his story for naptime, closing the book and setting it down, when he went over the back of the couch and pressed his hands to the window screen, just slipped through it like a rock sliding through a veil. One loud thud upon the concrete walk below. Then…nothing.

Every mother’s nightmare had just become my reality.

In the five seconds or so that it took me to fly out the front door, Huckleberry came out of shock, moved all four limbs, and began to cry. An eerie, lifeless sound at first, more like a moan, but after a minute or so, he began to cry in earnest and my heart remembered how to beat.

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I’ll spare you the details of ER transfers, CT scans, and the terrified eyes of a little boy who would not let go of Mama or Daddy’s hand for one second. I don’t need to drag you through a play-by-play of fractured skulls and post-concussion nausea. I could tell you about the bleeding on the brain, the nurses who tended, the doctors who healed. I could scream gratitude until my voice gives out, but I won’t.

Because at the end of all the overwhelm, the heart broken and spilt and splintered is this one thing, and I need to say it loud and long, over and over, like a never-ending prayer.

Count every moment precious.

I know you already knew that, but I thought I’d mention it again. Because every moment, this is the one irrefutable, immaculate truth: EVERY. MOMENT. COUNTS.

The sleepless newborn nights? The spit-up and the hair pulled out by handfuls? The sticky handprints on those just polished windows: precious, precious, priceless and profound. The lessons learned hard through tears, the back-bent, knees-down desperation that gets us through the days of soul-tending: It is all grace. Cherish, mamas.

Because the truth is raw and real that these babies we bear are not ours to keep. These hearts that walk outside our bodies, they can fall and break and bruise. They grow up or run away. Some day (and it is sure to be too soon), we each of us will say good-bye in one way or another, and the only thing we will have left is a handful of moments and the memory of what we did with them.

I don’t want to waste one–not another one–on anger. Don’t want to sacrifice a blessed one to petty frustrations, distraction, impatience. Don’t want to fill them up with sarcasm and sighs. I won’t allow impatience steal these sweet, irreplaceable seconds from this one and only chance to love. Love like only a mama can.

Because I know now. About these moments. I know how any blessed one of them can bring all the others to an end.

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