She had slipped through the bars of the park’s iron fence.
I was facing her; I should have seen it. But I didn’t, and so my 2-year-old was standing on the edge of the sidewalk, feet from a street known for its reckless drivers.
“She’s out! She’s by the street! By the street!” yelled a mom with more wherewithal than I. She was closer, and she opened the gate and grabbed my toddler for me as I came running over, screeching, “Stay right there! Don’t move!”
This was the second time something like this had happened with my overly curious younger child — at this same park.
The first time was her escape through a gate left open, and a worried construction worker got my attention and helped corral her back in.
I try hard not to be a space-case mom. I try to keep an eye on my two toddlers, running around in different directions at the park, in the field, on the beach. But sometimes I mess up and blink and my Speedy Gonzales is gone in a flash. I swear she’s the fastest baby I’ve ever seen. My older one is not like this at all, and it has been a hard transition to try to parent a runner/climber/explorer.
But I need help, and that’s why I’m thankful for my street angels.
I call the random people who swoop in and save me at my worst moments my “street angels.” Just passers-by, willing to speak out and prevent a potential disaster. I am so grateful for them. It would be easy to get offended, because their help often blatantly points out my failures. It takes a good dose of humility to swallow it and say, “Yes, I messed up here. I will be more vigilant next time.” Because, in the end, we are all just human. That’s OK — it’s more than OK — if we all try to be each other’s street angels.
So to all you moms out there feeling like you can’t keep it together, don’t worry — I’ve got your back. Thanks for having mine.