Today was library day for me and the girls. Every Wednesday, the local library has story time for children and after reading a few books, little projects. Once was a paper bag puppet, another was coloring in big pictures of classic stories.. A really nice change of pace for the girls, to get out of the house and interact with other kids their age. I was running a little late and we got there just as the volunteer started to read the first book. I was relieved when, after we got there, a few other moms came rushing in with their kids in tow. Whew, I'm not the last late-comer!
All 3 of my girls sat on the rug and listened to the stories, and I went and returned the books we got last week and checked out some more books. I am parked in front of the library, on the street, with a parking meter ticking away and I knew that after project time was over, my time would be up on the meter. After the books were read, the children pasted some pictures together, colored them, then put stickers all over some paper baskets. After they finished decorating their baskets, the girls got little angels and boys got toy cars.
Heading out the door, with Youngest in my arms, Middle holding my hand, and a bag of books flung over my shoulder, Oldest was left to follow. "Stay close, honey, I don't want you running into the busy street." I get the back passenger door open and plop Youngest in her car seat and look back to make sure I still see 2 little girls behind me. Oldest announces she has to go to the bathroom. argh! "Why didn't you say anything before we left the library?" I turn to click the last buckle on Youngest's car seat and then turn to see only one little girl behind me. I panic and tell Middle to stay where she is and I dash behind the car, thinking Oldest went back there. I step off the curb and onto the uneven pavement, twist my ankle and crash to the street, landing on my butt and hand. I look at the oncoming traffic and am relieved the closest car is at least 3 blocks away. Oldest is nowhere to be seen. Looking at the glass sliding doors of the library, I suspect Oldest went back in to go to the bathroom, but with my ankle throbbing and 2 little ones with me, I am in no shape to run in and check. I hobble over to Middle who is staring at me with a puzzled look on her face, one that says, why was mommy on the ground? I buckle her in her car seat, keeping my eyes on the library doors and sure enough, the sliding doors open and out walks Oldest. I am hurting too much to get angry and grab her hand to lead her on the street to her side of the car, strap her in and then ease myself into my seat.
"You don't ever go away like that without telling me first. I didn't know where you were and thought you went out into the street! What if someone grabbed you? What if...." I cannot say anymore, I can see Oldest looking at me through the rear view mirror and her eyes are filling up with tears. I tell her, "I love you and I don't want anything to happen to you or your sisters and that you are always to tell me where you are going. Next time, tell me you have to go to the bathroom before we leave the library or store or wherever it is we are." She nods her head and tells me she is sorry.
My ankle is swelling up and I know I am in for some painful driving. I gingerly step on the brake to shift gears and pain shoots up my leg. oh dear.. this is gonna hurt. Biting back the tears, I somehow manage to drive 40 minutes home without bawling like a baby and I am relieved to see Hubby is still at home. Honking the horn as I pull into the drive, I finally burst into tears. Hubby flies over to me and helps me out of the car and I cannot go more than a few steps. I tell him to get the girls and sit on the edge of the well house.
I spent the rest of the day with my butt planted firmly on the couch and my ankle propped on the ottoman. It is properly swollen and looks like I may have some bruising in the morning. Nearly 12 hours later, I can put some weight on it and limp around the house and I think I may be ok for tomorrow, unless it stiffens up in the night. Hubby has been a champ and took over lunch and dinner duties and hovered over me, giving me aspirin, water and whatever else I needed. The girls have all kissed my ankle trying to work their healing powers and I tell them it's going to need more than kisses to feel better (a swig of vodka would do). In the normal course of a day, I rarely get a chance to sit on the couch and just relax. Here, I am finally sitting and all I can think of, is getting up and running around the house. We always want what we cannot have. Ain't that the truth!