3 days ago I lost my son.
Ok, not actually.
But for 1 whole minute I did not know where he was.
You see, at our place we have our own backyard with a 6 ft tall wooden fence.
It's one of the reasons we love where we live.
Most apartment situations don't have that.
We've planted some grass so it feels even better back there!
Kameron loves being out back just exploring, pushing his walker, playing in his sandbox, and watching the planes go by overhead.
The kitchen is just inside the back door, so during the day I let him play back there (with the door open) while I do the dishes, make lunch, meal plan, etc.
The only reason I let him have that little bit of independence is 1) in a matter of two steps I can see him either out the kitchen window or back door and 2) our gate makes a terrible, loud squeal when you open it so if someone were to walk in, I would know immediately.
So on Friday we got home from teaching Zumba and it was lunch time.
I let Kameron enjoy the sunny, 60 degree weather out back while I prepped lunch.
I checked on him periodically and he would flash me one of his award winning grins.
I could hear him pushing his toys around and babbling to himself.
I finished up lunch and went out to grab him.
I walk outside and Kameron is no where to be seen.
Ok...is he behind the tree?
In between the shed and the fence?
I'm yelling his name over and over.
Under the chairs?
Other side of the shed?
By now I'm breathing really heavy and feel an anxiety attack coming.
I'm searching the fence to see if there's a hole I never noticed and he wiggled through.
I'm checking the gate latch to see if it broke.
I'm walking around the tree seeing if there's a little nook I never noticed.
Now I'm screaming his name.
I'm like "what the?! Some stealth creep snatched my child!"
I feel like I'm about to puke and I'm sweating.
I start to run into the house to call the police when a little spirit prompting told me to look down at his sandbox.
So I do.
In between the top and the bottom, there is a tiny sliver that lets me see in.
I saw movement!
I run over, fling off the top of his crab shaped sandbox, and there he is with a mouthful of sand.
He looked up at me like it's no big deal.
Somehow he had opened up the top just enough to wiggle on in and then it fell back down into place.
First I yelled at him for not saying anything when I was screaming his name!
(I wish that hadn't been my first reaction, but oh well...it was.)
(And dude. You babble non stop and you chose THAT minute to be quiet?)
Then I fell on my knees and burst into tears.
Then I tried to hug him, which made him mad since he was playing, so he flung sand everywhere (including into his eye) so he started crying.
It was a very traumatic 5 minutes at the Foster home. :)
The whole point of this post is to tell y'all about a very important lesson I learned.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
I have been more patient with him in the last 3 days than his entire life.
Sure his tantrums are difficult.
Sure he annoys me sometimes.
But I don't care.
He's 16 months.
He's going to get into stuff, he's going to scream, he's going to throw his food, he's going to wake up earlier than I would like, he's going to kick and arch his back when he doesn't get his way.
But that's ok.
Because he also blows kisses. And he also says "mama" when he's hurt. And he also snuggles his Bear so tight. And he also runs into my arms for a hug. And he also has the smooshiest cheeks. And he also is the sweetest boy on the planet.
In that horrible minute I didn't think, "Yes! I'm so glad I don't have to deal with another tantrum."
In that minute I caught a glimpse of what my life would be like without him.
I'm not a fan.
I love my life with Kameron as a part of it.
I hope that feeling remains with me a long time.
I hope I continue to be more patient and loving.
He is so precious and I hope he can feel how much we adore him.
So this Christmas I already have what I need.
They make me happy every day.
The other presents under the tree are just really nice bonuses. :)