I can't say that I have had too many moments in motherhood where my heart melted and slid to my toes, but I did yesterday. A repeat performance is unwelcomed and would probably kill me.
It was during dinner time and I was feeding Daniel. Due to the fact that he likes to grab the spoon and get various food items all over me and him and in his curly hair, I pay close attention to where I am putting that spoon. Samuel had finished his dinner and was having an apple. He eats apples all the time. Just grabs one, they are pre-washed for grabability, and goes. This time he was sitting off to my right, but I couldn't really see him because I was turned to the left paying attention to the smaller version of wild boy. I just happen to glance around and at the same time Samuel made a gag-cough sound and I looked up a little faster. Tears were rolling down his cheeks, his lips were dark purple (this is about the time my heart turned to slime and begin to leak into my feet) and he croaked out, "mama I was choking and my words were stuck". I checked him out, he kept rubbing his throat, for I am sure his throat was hurting and a smaller piece of the apple chunk was now sliding down his throat. I remained calm, not wanting to freak him out. His lips quickly pinked up and the tears stopped (they weren't tears from crying, they were from his wind pipe being blocked). He was very calm. I on the other hand was having a nervous breakdown internally.
Little later while getting ready for church, he leaned in for a hug. I hugged him and the emotion came spilling over. What if I hadn't looked up? What if he hadn't been able to gag-cough the apple free? What if I lost another son? I have to say that I hugged tighter than normal and had it been Makiah she would have been wiggling free. Not Sam. He will let you squeeze as long as you want and squeeze back too. When he looked up at me he asked, "mama, why you crying?" I said they were I love you tears. And they were, but they were also thank-you-Jesus-for-watching-him-in-between-my-watching-him-and-keeping-him-safe tears.
I wondered then if my mama license should be revoked?? I mean he was choking not three feet from me and I didn't know it?!?! I mean, he made no sound, but still shouldn't I have known it?? How many apples has eaten in his life with no problem whatsoever? So scary.
I have scooped up what is left of my heart, and tried to put it back correctly, but I have to say that the choking incident of '09 has changed me. Not only will I never look at an apple the same again, but I will hug them a little more than I already do, just because I can. I will also never forget that when my back is turned, even for just a moment, that God is watching over them. And I am so grateful that He is.
Oh and I think applesauce instead of apples will be on the menu from now on.