You know that moment when time is moving so s-l-o-w-l-y, but you still don't have a spare second to react? Yep; that's what it was like at Ritter's last night.
The three kids were running around a tree while two sets of parents enjoyed frozen custard. This was a late-breaking development (and an improvement) because they were formerally encircling us at our table flirting with the parking lot boundary. Ellie, 7, and Joseph, 4 were showing their little cousin the ropes in a pint-sized game of chase. In fact, my biggest thought at the time was, "Aw, I should grab my phone and take a picture. This is slice-worthy."
But the very next second I was frozen, like cement curing on a summer's day, while watching Reid suddenly trip over his sneaker at a high rate of speed.
He stumbled briefly and worked hard to regain his balance.
(I cheered. Crisis averted.)
He over-compensated and began flying out of their neat little orbit.
(I gasped. I'm no physicist, but he was parallel to the ground.)
He flew. And flew. And flew. Straight toward the next table's concrete bench.
(I shuttered. What if his head, or possibly worse yet, his mouth hit its edge?
This isn't exactly what his first dental appointment in two weeks was
Finally, a resonating thump followed by a collective sigh: he landed just short of the bench. At this point we had all patrons' eyes and hearts.
(I ran now, even though the whole time I had wanted to.)
Scooping him up with my mama bird grip, I nuzzled him close --- forgetting about the road rash on his forehead, the classic scrape on his nose tip, and the full-on cut undernearth his nostrils. We rocked and rocked; well, as much as our concrete fixture allowed.
The wailing subsided. His rational side returned.
"Mommy, I got hoot (hurt). But it wasn't too bad. It feels bedoow (better) now."
I am the one still reeling. If only, if only, I could've moved faster...