Children

Hit And Run

They’d been begging me to go all summer. And the truth is, I love this place as much as they do, but it can be dangerous and I tend to fret about them the whole time. Because it’s open to the public, some days the crowd is overwhelming, it takes about two seconds to loose sight of my four as they scatter into the water, disappearing into crowd. With just two eyes I cannot track the four of them at once, and in the din of the water and squeals of delight, they can’t hear me calling–

So when they begged me again to go, I thought it over for hours before making a decision. I figured if we went, it would be safer in the later afternoon, after the heat of the day, and hopefully, after the crowds. I was mostly right.

I Saw It Coming

There’s nothing quite like observing children in this state of free play. These Last days of summer are made for moments like this and I hate that my fear and worry has kept them from this particular joy, for the bulk of the season.

As the sun bares down its last rays, I start to second guess myself. I snap a hundred photos in under an hour and their sheer bliss makes me almost forget why we don’t come here more.

But in a moment, I’m reminded. I see it happen, as almost all childhood accidents do, in slow motion, with me too far away to catch her–she never saw him coming, and I know he didn’t see her either. As that blond boy tore past her, he set her off balance and she smacked down hard on the wet cement.

I hear her knees hit and cringed as I raced through fountains to grab her up. My temper flashed at that unnamed child, I wanted to yank him back and show him what he’d done. He didn’t even stop.

Scooping her into my arms, I glanced back looking for him, but he had already disappeared. Blotting her bloody knee, I remember why I don’t bring them here much anymore.

The voice inside chides me about how I knew this could happen, about how I brought them here anyway and used poor judgement to give in to their pleas. The hard truth about motherhood, is that it’s impossible to protect them from every scrape and spill. 

Driving home, I thought about this boy, how he careened into my baby, causing a wound, how his obliviousness cut short an otherwise joyful afternoon.  I thought about all of the times I have ripped through life, knocking people down–not stopping to look or even acknowledge my carelessness. He didn’t set out to trip her, he was merely lost in his own pursuit of fun. She didn’t see him, because she was equally lost in her own pursuit. Accidents happen, but as Christians, we’re called to live intentional lives–to not be so caught up in our own pursuits.

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

 I don’t want to blast through this life chasing my own desires, knocking others out of the way. In my pursuit of Christ, I must see others who cross my path, I must be looking at them, asking myself, how can I love this person as Christ does?

We’re always racing. I’m thankful for the way God reminds me the cost of my high-speed pursuits, thankful for the ways he nudges me to slow down. Thankful that my baby’s knee is ok and that we both learned a little something at the water park, that this time, the stakes were low.

Are you in a hurry? How do you find ways to slow down, to be more intentional in your pursuits?

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36 thoughts on “Hit And Run

  1. Lori Hatcher

    An absolutely beautiful reminder of how the relationship is so much more important than the results. And with this mindset, the results are usually relationship. I visited from Be Not Weary today, and I’m glad I did 🙂

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  2. Ro elliott

    oh…my life has been lesson of slowing down…being sick for many years brought all my energy to a sudden halt…but I am now thankful for those days…the things I learned…and I too don’t want to go through life…knocking people over because my vision is so narrow…on me…or what I am trying to do…glad you sweet girl is fine…I love when a bandaid and a kiss can still solve the problem…blessings~

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  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since reading a post you shared earlier this week from a friend about pursuing a name for herself at the expense of being a mother to her kids. I’m feeling the need to get some balance and trying diligently to be a good steward of my time so that I’m not pushing them over in my own self-focused pursuit. And Kris, your heart is so lovely, I know you’re a good mama to your kids. It shows in their smiles.

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  4. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately with how I spend my time with my little boy. Am I intentional enough or am I just letting opportunities slip by and then it’s another day. Thank you.

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  5. sarahannrogers

    This is gorgeous (the writing and the pictures). Also, it’s a wonderful reminder that we need to be aware of others… sometimes, it’s easy to forget everyone around us when we have a goal!
    Thank you, friend, for this!

    Reply
    1. Thank you, Sarah Ann. I am so thankful for the ways God teaches me His lessons, so thankful for His tender mercy for my waywardness. Thank you for your kind encouragement. Your words are a gift.

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  6. Christina Fox

    I have the same fears that keep me from living life. And I too rush through, bumping people in the process and never stop to see who I hurt. Thanks for this encouragement to keep our focus on what truly matters, those around us. Blessings!

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  7. Oh, this line, “The hard truth about motherhood, is that it’s impossible to protect them from every scrape and spill.”
    Yes. Been thinking about that one in earnest.
    How parenting’s greatest love is really consummated in the letting go. This is both scary and liberating, when we remember Who holds their hand when all we can do is hold their heart.
    Love those pics!

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  8. Diana Trautwein

    Hurry is the bane of our culture – and this is a perfect example of that AND of our need to be attentive to life as it’s happening all around us. Thanks for this.

    Reply
    1. Yes, I’ve been in a hurry all my life it seems. This served as a startling observation of a truth I’ve long known, and yet struggled to live out. Attentiveness, intentional pursuit, patience and slowness, all words pinging around in my brain this season. Thank you Diana for stopping by, what grace it is to see you here in my comment thread. 😉

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  9. How He flipped your heart around to meet His face, it’s really amazing grace. And, their chasing fun…that’s just what it was. Such a neat perspective.

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    1. He’s really good about flipping me these days, 🙂 I am looking forward to hearing from you, about your extended sabbath, my sweet friend. Prayers streaming upwards on your behalf….

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    1. Alia, I hear your heart, I am walking (or more honestly, running) through a season of too much rushing, and not enough intention, and stillness. Praying we both find the slower pace we need.

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      1. SÃ¥ hyggelig med konkurranse, klart jeg er med! enig med deg om de søndagsÃ¥pne butikkene, nÃ¥ har vi ikke unnskyldning pÃ¥ søndagene en gang for de $%& kj.pe¸sentrene..Ã. Ha en fortsatt trivelig advent!

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  10. It’s so hard, isn’t it? As a parent, I want them to try new things and take risks and step out and be brave. But every turn around a new corner is an opportunity for pain or hurt or disappointment.

    But you were right there, caring for your little one, in a time of distress. That’s a gift, right there.

    Kris, your photos are so beautiful.

    Reply
    1. Yes, it’s painfully hard to watch them grow some days. I continue to thank God for the opportunities I have to just be right there. And thank you, re: the photos. I so enjoy capturing moments of their childhood with my lense. It’s always a blessing to see you here, thank you for making the time to comment, Jennifer. You bless me!

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  11. dsblanchard

    How do I slow down? I take pictures. It takes a moment to frame it, focus, stop and snap. I see you were doing that this particular day and have captured the delight and disappointment of that day so ably. Thanks for sharing, my friend.

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  12. Vicky Sharp

    The instinct to protect our children never goes away, even when they are all grown up. I just pray for grace not to embarrass them when that protective instinct comes out in a crowd and I pray that God will protect them when I cannot.
    I really enjoyed your post today. Glad I stopped by.

    Reply
  13. Beautiful story of a brave mama. It’s hard to let them go where we can’t always protect them. But it’s in these little incidences of life that they (and we) are prepared for the bigger ones.

    Thanks for linking up!

    Reply
  14. Wow! What a beautiful post! I was getting angry with you at that nameless child, so it was even more poignant to turn it around and think about the times I have figuratively bumped into others while being careless, thoughtless in my own pursuits. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    1. It’s funny the ways God turns me around, convicting me of my own recklessness as I huff about the mess others make. So grateful for the ways He peels our eyes open, that we may See. Glad you found value here, Crystal.

      Reply

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