And at that exact moment their breathing is the most important priority in your life.
When they are born, and they take that first gulp of air. When they fall from the top of the playground, knocking themselves silly. When they wreck their bike and you can't even see where they landed.
Broken bones, blood gushing, those thoughts start creeping in second later.
But breathing is a first priority, and when it proves itself immediately, you can breath also.
So crying is the most beautiful sound in the world.
I had a moment like that this weekend.
Truly, at first you can't hear anything. Then the first little peep of fear that only a six year old can produce pops up from the backseat, answered immediately by his big brother, and it's just enough to bring you back to reality. To let you know that they were alive.
Then sounds start coming from every direction.
Your very angry (at himself) husband telling them to get out (just in case) means he is okay - and as you hear their doors open and their feet follow, you know that they can move.
That's when you realize - your door won't open, and you're not sure you could get out even if it did. The airbags make that terrible squealing sound as they finish deflating. And the miscellaneous parts of the car that use to make it move, now growl. Steam rises all around with an almost beautiful sound of it's own.
Then metal scrapes and complains as that 6'1" tower of muscle who loves you makes it obey, refusing to leave you in your seat, or make you climb over another seat with a busted knee. The door opens enough to slip through, the knee works enough to get to the grass and (of course) you sit down directly in an ant pile.
And the sounds continue. Firetruck. Police car. Ambulance.
Slightly amusing really. After the ant hill fiasco, I limped my way over to the back of the Tahoe and managed to sit on the back of it. When the first responders, the Firemen, got there they had an icepack for my knee. But I was bleeding from my thumb. Just a tiny little cut, but because it had been bleeding for several minutes it had pooled up. My children were very concerned. The firemen didn't actually have bandaids. Something to pack in a gaping wound? Got you covered. A tiny cut on your thumb... not so much. However, I am a mom. With a fully stocked (although fully wrecked) SUV. So I looked around and luckily my emergency bag hadn't gotten thrown too far. Alcohol wipe? check. Bandaid? check. Neosporin cream? check. Help from a friendly fire man to wrap my thumb in a self provided bandaid? check. Children who were very much calmed now that mommy wasn't bleeding any more? Check check!
Care to see some pictures?
The tow truck, loading it up.
I think this is the one looks the worst.
Driver's side wasn't so bad..
And truthfully, the back has hardly any damage at all.
My babies were protected.
Buckled up, in the booster seats - even at 8 and 6.
A small pile of left-over pieces.
20 mph. Not texting. Not changing the radio station. His hand simply slipped on the wheel at the exact wrong minute. Not a chance to brake, nothing. Cement doesn't give...
We had cleaned the Tahoe out fairly that afternoon, waiting through all the details of firetruck, ambulance, police report and towtruck. Actually, let me say that properly. Andy and the boys, and then later when she came to rescue us, my friend Kirsten, cleaned most of it out Sunday afternoon. Books, DVD player, umbrellas, picnic blanket, emergency first-aid kit, toothbrush, sewing kit, safety pins, diabetic supplies, etc etc. I simply sat on the back, held an icepack on my knee and said things like "did you remember to check the pocket in the side of the door" and "did you get all of the quarters from the console". Luckily, I carry grocery bags with me too, or we would have had some trouble containing it all!
On Monday after I talked to the insurance agent they told me I needed to make sure I got everything out of it, because they would be towing it to their storage facility several hours away. So Kirsten, once again, saved the day and drove me out to the temporary storage place.
And I got my first real look at it.
I simply stood there and sobbed, for just a second.
I'm not exactly sure why.
Thankfullness that we are all okay? Sorrow for my car, which I have loved? Purely and simply overwhelmed?
Earlier I had heard the sound of my children crying. My husband yelling. The metal creaking, airbags squealing, steam whistling, sirens wailing. Voices all around asking questions - and my voice answering them.
God and I had even had a beautiful moment of comfort, where I got to hear His voice reminding me of His care.
But I hadn't really seen it yet.
Now with sight, the sound that was needed that moment was very quiet. Without interruption. And with a touch of finality.
I removed the license plate, military tags and even managed to scrape off the trinity sticker Andy made for my car. It is not re-usable, but I couldn't stand the thought of it rotting in a junk-yard.
And we are about 98% sure that the Tahoe is not coming back. Sigh.
Time for something with better gas milage?
X-rays show no broken bones in the knee. Lots of swelling means just keep ice on it and enjoy the black and blue. So we rejoice in our many many blessings.
Rejoice in yours too!